In the Middle of Everything…

Work Some Silence Into Every Day

1. Step away from the project you’re working on, for Perspective and to spot problems. Ever notice how when you’ve just written an email, a paper, or a proposal, you can’t spot the typos, but a couple of hours or days later (usually too late, after it’s been sent somewhere) you see every flaw? Take some quiet time away from your relentless pursuit of Maximum Customer Experience and the answers (or the flaws) may just jump out at you.

2. The best ideas always come to me when I’m forced into silence (when I’m going to sleep, waiting for a doctor, stuck in traffic…). Silence lets the mind wander (that’s how the idea for this post came).

3. Silence in group situations allows you to open up to listening. Try keeping quiet when a response is expected—this often leads to hearing more than the other person intended to reveal. It also marks you as a caring listener, which will help you build a relationship and may help you “close the deal.”

Pencil Some Silence Into Tomorrow

If you are always racing, always adding to your to-do list, always manically multitasking, take some time this week to let go. How about taking tomorrow afternoon off? No email, no Internet, no business calls, no customers. Take a walk to a Thoughtful Spot (like Winnie-the-Pooh), and just sit, alone, letting ideas and problems wash over you without pressure.

Yes, this means you, solopreneur with child at home. Who do you help out in a pinch? Ask that person to hang on to the little one for just three hours.

Yes, this means you, owner with six employees expecting you. What do they do when you’re sick? Tell them to do that.

Yes, this means you, start-up supervising construction on the new site. They get along on other sites, they can get along without you for an afternoon.

Yes, this means you, workaholic who loves every minute of it. You still can’t see the forest if you’re letting the tree branches whip you from morning till midnight, no matter how much fun the work is.

Maybe a great new idea for Customer Experience will come to you, you’ll reach into your pocket, grab a crumpled piece of paper and a pen, and jot the note that starts a new direction for your company.

Maybe you’ll have a huge personal reflection, that will make downtime better and allow your business to be more fulfilling, finally.

Maybe, you’ll snooze.

We’re all too connected, too busy absorbing, too convinced things will fall apart if we take time to sort through our thoughts. Too many of us are hiding “empty” with band-aids of “busy.”

If crazy is part of your equation, as in “I am working like…,” quality will be harder to come by.

It’s a chance to regain focus. The value of silence is in rediscovering where you are driving to with all this “busy,” and why.

What’s the BEST thing that could happen if you let your team take care of things for just one afternoon? How could recharging your batteries periodically help your business thrive?

Tomorrow: Why Noise Is Essential.

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson