Let Us Not Forget Kindergarten Quiet Time

Have you ever wanted to take a day off of work, take a personal day, just to stay out of the office so that you can work and get caught up? So that you can actually get some things done? How much times have you spent in areas in which you have no cell coverage so cannot answer phone or emails? Do you remember what that feels like?

I can tell you!  It feels like time slows down.  It feels so much more productive, peaceful, and far less distracting, with no rabbit holes to fall into except for the ones created by the real ones. I think this is sometimes why people who have heavy project based jobs like to stay up late and do their work.  There are fewer natural disruptions. Unfortunately our cell coverage doesn’t turn off just because it is nighttime.

Remember in Kindergarten when quiet time was required.  Whether we slept or not was irrelevant. This was quiet time to let our brains and bodies rest. 

Her we are some decades later with increased demands of job and family yet who of us takes a quiet time out during our workday?  If you do, I am truly impressed and offer you props!

I wonder what would happen if we took quiet time outs from our computers and devices for portions of our day. What if we stopped checking emails every time the buzzing, notification sounded?  What if we extracted ourselves from the frenetic and fumbling obligatory response that our little smart phones, tablets, and computers are constantly demanding?

I’m all for the practice of pausing and allowing distractions to float by as clouds, recognizing sounds and thoughts and staying present in your moments despite distractions.  All of these are strategies taught by yours truly in meditation classes.  But is this necessary to withstand this? It is possible to shut down the tugging, pulling and demands of our little smart phones, which are constantly tapping on our shoulders.

By turning off our phones and our notifications for just short periods of times it allows our brains to rest, our nervous systems to reset, and our minds to get juicy with creativity. Turning off our phones is restful for every part of our being. It gives us an opportunity to, as I like to call it, Stop, Drop, and Breathe!

Most of us use our computers for projects and ongoing communication in our work life.  Myself included. It seems the more time I spend behind computer screen the more skilled I become to the lifestyle of responding to every alert that goes off. At least that is the perception.

What if we turned off our phones and our notifications for blocks of time within a day.  What would that do to our flow of productivity and creativity?

Many large corporations are now requiring employee quiet timeouts.  Yay! But no, unfortunately this does not usually mean napping on floor mats. Although this could be the start of something good, something bigger. What the quiet time does require is employees to turn off phones and eliminate writing or reading emails unless directly related to the primary project the employee is working on.

For those of us who independently structure our days or manage others I am challenging us to choose a few of the following to implement some quiet time which in effect will increase the volume flow of productivity and creativity.

-       Most of us are most spry and productive between 9-2:00.  Make these hours  

         the core of your work on projects, creativity requirements

-       Read and respond to emails two times per day only at 9:00 & 2:00pm, and   

         limit the amount of time you take to do so to a half hour.

-       Return phone calls only after 2:00pm

-       Make one day where you don’t respond to emails or phone calls

Pay attention to how this feels in your body and pay attention to your productivity and creativity.

Who knows, maybe this is but just a stepping-stone to a mandatory nap or meditation time out.  Now that would be progress and imagine the creativity and productivity that would flow from that.

Peace In ~ Peace Out

Elizabeth