In our fast paced world sometimes it’s hard to hear yourself think. When our brains are in overdrive, constantly being bombarded by information, technology, advertisements, and interruptions, it’s a wonder we get anything done, let alone have room for ideas, original thought, or breakthrough moments. Try to recall the last time you had quiet, where your mind could wander, without something pressing to do. You need to slow down to hear yourself think.
We Need Downtime
Often we are list making, running from one thing to another, trying to make sure all our bases are covered, and all the while, we are taking in everything around us; the television, the traffic, the noise of our workplace, the soccer field, email or the ping of our mobile devices. Does all that busy-ness leave time for you to ponder? How often are you struck with an idea – viola’ – in the middle of all that noise? It just doesn’t happen that way. We need downtime. We need to slow down enough to hear our own thoughts. That’s when we get our greatest inspiration.
Inspiration Comes in the Quiet Moments
Great ideas and inspiration come to us in the quiet moments, often when we’re doing something else that’s unrelated. For me that happens frequently when I am driving; the back and forth carpool. The path is familiar, I don’t have to concentrate on where I am going, and while one part of my brain is automatically engaged in the task at hand, the other part of my brain is fee to wander. I get ideas about things I want to write, my mind makes a “connection”, or figures out a concept I’ve been struggling to understand. Some people get their inspiration when they are gardening, baking, running or doing other familiar repetitive tasks, so their brain power is freed up for more important things.
You might also want to be intentional about quiet and try meditation. You can start with just a few minutes, sitting quietly observing the world around you. You could also listen to relaxing music and let your mind wander. Or you can follow a guided meditation (Insight Timer is a great one) which can be as short as a few minutes, or much longer, giving your body and brain a short respite – creating space for a little inspiration. Make room for this important – and in the Western World – often considered “unproductive” time.
Let your mind wander, and find some inspiration! Share with me some of your favorite ways to unwind, and find inspiration!
Kristin Clark is a certified Axiogenics Coach, guiding individuals and organizations in leadership development by learning to make better value-based decisions, Linking their Thinking to Create Performance Improvement in their personal and professional lives. Learn more at: www.YourInsightCoach.com.