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Cultivating Quiet

23 May 2017

Janie read The Busier You Are, the More You Need Quiet Time by Justin Talbot-Zorn and Leigh Marz, and reflected on ways to add more quiet time to her daily life.

Tags: balance, janie read, quiet

Silence is something I have come to value increasingly as I’ve gotten older. It is also something that I find harder to fit into my daily life, so when I saw The Busier You Are, the More You Need Quiet Time on the HBR blog, I was interested to read what the authors had to say.

Talbot-Zorn and Marz share that “recent studies are showing that taking time for silence restores the nervous system, helps sustain energy, and conditions our minds to be more adaptive and responsive to the complex environments in which so many of us now live, work, and lead.” This is a powerful argument for adding more quiet time to your life. Talbot-Zorn and Marz argue that even the busiest people can cultivate periods of sustained quiet time. They offer several practical suggestions on how to do this; two of them are things I am making a deliberate effort to add more of to my life.

The first is to “take a silent afternoon in nature.” With two young boys, a silent afternoon is not something I ever experience. However, I have been trying to spend some quiet time outside in the morning before my family wakes up for the day. I have seen the benefit of just spending a few minutes of quiet time outside, and I am working to add more quiet time in nature to my days when I can.

The other suggestion I really like is to “go on a media fast.” Talbot-Zorn and Marz suggest that this could mean turning off your email for a period, or fasting from news and entertainment. I love the suggestion to take a break from news and entertainment. I have found that taking breaks from reading the news and following all the headlines helps me to feel a bit calmer. I still want to be informed, but I don’t need to read every news story that comes through my News Feed.

If you are interested in cultivating more quiet time in your life, I recommend giving this article a read.


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