Is quiet time part of your daily routine, not just for the kids but for you too?
If not, read on, you will want to add it to your day by the time you finish.
When was the last time you sat in silence? Complete and utter silence?
Can you actually remember? Of course, it’s difficult to do these days, there is so much ambient sound. Even if you live halfway up a mountain there is always a noisy goat or a plane going overhead.
But more to the point, why am I asking?
It struck me the other day that as our lives get more mobile. With our ability to carry, not only a phone but a library of books and music, all the information we could possibly need at our fingertips and a Rolodex of friends on a fast dial, all in one device in our pockets.
And with the mobile world we carry around with us, the noisier our world has become.
⭐️ We used to sit down for 5 minutes of peace with a cuppa and a biscuit but even that now includes pinging Facebook notifications.
⭐️ We used to take the dog for a walk and listen to the neighbourhood sounds of the birds singing and the refuge truck doing its rounds but now we jam earplugs in to catch up on the latest podcast or audiobook.
⭐️ We used to lock ourselves in the bathroom for a few minutes of quiet contemplation but now…
Well, you get the picture.
It’s as if we feel like we have to force information into our brains 24/7 in case we miss out on something, and that’s a problem.
Because it doesn’t give our brain downtime and the space to create and if we stifle our creativity life gets much harder.
💡 It’s harder to think of new ways to promote our business.
💡 It’s harder to come up with new ideas and new products.
💡It’s harder to find solutions to our problems.
💡It’s harder to keep all those lists in our heads straight.
💡It’s harder to focus on the things that really matter.
Because humans are creative beings and when we don’t allow our brains to dream, imagine, innovate, we are really restricting ourselves and not allowing ourselves the fun and joy of being creative.
When we look to the world of famous creative people, many of them, such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Albert Einstein worked in quiet solitude. They were on to something.
The Science Of Quiet Time
Tests have shown that when noise reaches 80 decibels focus is almost always lost. So even a small amount of background noise can break your concentration. From a dog barking in the street to your phone pinging and the kids recreating Ninja Warrior on your sofa.
And let’s not forget how the constant interruptions also break your concentration, which is why open-plan offices are not such a great thing after all. When Ollie Campbell, CEO of Milanote started instilling a quiet time policy at his company, they saw an increase in productivity of 23%.
I believe that it wasn’t just the increase in quiet time that helped this boost in productivity but that enforcing quiet time also forced employees to be far more intentional with their workday. If you struggle with being intentional when you are working from home, this post was written for you.
It also suggests that if you want to up your productivity at home, it would help if you could lock yourself in a room away from the rest of the family, even if it’s for a short amount of time. (I’m sure I’m not the only mom who has taken a very long toilet break just because I needed some quiet!)
But Jo, I don’t have time or a place to hide from the kids…
If I had a dollar for every time I heard that I’d be a much richer woman!
I’m not doubting you are busy, I’d be hard pushed to find a mom who isn’t, but making time to enjoy the silence is a choice.
Your circumstances may not allow you the privilege to lock yourself in a room, uninterrupted for hours on end, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take the kaizen approach and start this with baby steps…
And it’s not actually about being in a vacuum with no noise, although that would be lovely but not always practical, especially if you are a mom of little ones.
No, it’s more about being intentional and listening to what is happening around you right now.
If your little ones are still napping, this is the perfect time to sneak in your quiet time and if they are just coming out of the nap time phase I encourage you to still have quiet time as part of your daily routine. If they don’t want to nap, then encourage them to look at books, read, or engage in quiet time activities. (some here for you to try)
6 more ways to sneak some quiet time into your day:
If you usually have the TV or radio on to create background noise, turn it off. Only put it on when you intend to sit and watch/listen. Be intentional about which shows you tune into. I used to use the TV for the company a lot when my son was little but changing this habit saw a big leap in my productivity and I started enjoying my TV time more because I was being intentional about what I watched.
Find a pocket of time during your day to claim as your quiet time. I have Wonder Moms who take 10 minutes for themselves when the kids have gone off to school, to sit and have a cuppa and either do some journaling or meditation before starting with the rest of their day.
This is a great time to do it, it centers you after the mad morning rush.
If that time doesn’t work for you, when can you fit it in? Stop with the excuses, you deserve 10 minutes of peace a day, just pick a time and declare it as yours. And make sure you declare it to the rest of the family!
If you go out on a run or a walk, leave your headphones at home and instead let your mind wander or focus on the sounds around you. This doesn’t have to be every day if this is usually your podcast listening time for example but maybe set a day once a week where your ears get to take a break.
In the bath or shower. There is a good reason why we have our best ideas in the bath or in bed! It’s because usually, it’s a time when our mind can get quiet, so if you usually take the radio in the shower or bathroom with you, try skipping it occasionally and see what a difference it makes.
TOP TIP – Keep a notepad and pen handy for when that “next big idea” pops into your head!
In the car. If you instinctively pop on some music, radio, or podcast when you get in the car. Try not to do it for a change. If the kids are with you challenge them to listen and tell you all the things they can hear too, a great way for them to get into the habit of listening with intention.
Preparing meals or washing up. I usually have an audiobook on (I used Scribd to listen to audiobooks, you can get 2 months free with my referral link) or a podcast when I’m cooking dinner but I like to turn everything off when washing up and instead focus on the task at hand. I find at this time I get important ideas pop to mind or tasks that I need to get onto my running to-do list. So I always have a notebook handy for those flashes of inspiration.
One Step At A Time…
If you find this hard to do, start with baby steps.
When is one time of the day where you can take 5-10 minutes and turn off the noise so that you can give your brain a break?
Set a reminder on your phone, post it on your schedule, do whatever you need to do to set yourself up for success so that you can create some quiet time on a daily basis.
And if you have kids at home, get them in on it too. Make it into a game or start implementing quiet time during the day.
Most of all, give yourself permission to give your brain a break, it is the best self-care you can give it.
If you are looking for more ways to be more productive and get into the flow of running a business around your family then come and join us in The Wonder Mom Success Club, we’d love to have you.