Quiet time isn’t just relaxing, it’s critical for success – here’s why14 Jun 2017
I’m the first person to admit that being quiet is not my strong suit. Like most leaders, I tend to fill silences with some kind of chatter, like audiobooks, podcasts or even the radio. But recently, I’ve been introduced to the value of just, well, shutting up. Silence has huge benefits for us busybodies. It clears our mind and gives us room to think, it makes us better listeners and it even strengthens our memory.
Research cited by the Harvard Business Review found that quiet time is linked to the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, the area of our brain associated with learning and retention. Another study discovered that silence heightened stability in our respiratory systems as well as our cardiovascular regions.
Silence clears our mind and gives us room to think, it makes us better listeners and it even strengthens our memory.
Not to mention the benefits it has for clear thought and our overall listening abilities. When we stop talking, we declutter our minds and make room for new ideas. Additionally, we start to listen to others which works to strengthen our leadership skills.
If you’re anything like me, you are 100 per cent sold on silence at this point. So, how can we make sure we’re actually shutting up? Let’s take a look.
1) Make a commitment
It would be easy to read this piece, think “oh good point,” and just move on. It’s what we do with most of the information we read. But if you want to reap the benefits of silence you need to make a full-on commitment. Start small by carving out 20 minutes a week for shutting down the chatter and embracing the quiet. Work your way up to more regular periods and take note of the differences. The key is to write down your intended commitment; it will better compel you to follow through.
2) Shut down the digital devices
Silence is about more than cutting down the talking: You need to commit to quieting your mind and your surroundings. It’s not easy to clear your brain when you have new notifications popping up across the board. Commit to turning off your digital channels for allotted periods every day. This will help you focus in on the important things and get you closer to embracing true silence.
3) Meditation, man
It may seem like a big step but no-one has mastered silence better than people committed to mediation practices. Do some research into how they silence the inner and outer chatter and take some time to practice. These tips can be useful for quick little pockets of time when you need to decompress.
So, there you have it folks. A little commitment, a lot less social media and a casual bout of mediation and you can go from the office chatter box to a zenned-out idea generator. What are you waiting for? Get to quieting yourself ASAP.