We live in a noisy world. There is audible noise, visual noise and information noise. When it becomes distracting, it’s clutter!
We have so much coming at us, on a continual basis, that silence can even feel uncomfortable.
Today, your challenge is to quiet the the background noise.
As much as you may enjoy the background noise (music, TV, social media, text messages) you can benefit from quieting all those distractions.
Allowing extra stimuli to constantly seep into your environment actually causes your mind to multi-task. And as we discussed on Day 15 of our 30-Day Challenge, multitasking isn’t as efficient as we would like to believe. Your mind has to work harder to process the extra distractions in the background.
As subtle as this white noise may be, it can really hinder your productivity.
If you enjoy playing music while you read or keeping Facebook open as you work, that’s fine. However, I encourage you to designate times, throughout the day, where you are intentionally blocking out the background noise.
Give your brain and body time to rest and reset.
Setting aside time during your day – even 5 minutes – of quiet reflection will help to clear your mind and organize your thoughts. Then, you’ll be ready to take on new challenges!
Marinating in quiet reflection allows you to practice mindfulness. You are being intentional with your time and with your thoughts. This will help immensely with de-stressing.
Use your quiet time to meditate. Sitting in complete silence does amazing things for your mind and body. You can really get in tune with your thoughts, emotions, and intentions. It may be uncomfortable at first or feel weird. But as you practice more and more, you will find that embracing the silence leads you to deeply reconnect with yourself.
Our phones and computers are the biggest culprits of background noise. Email, social media, and texting can be like a siren call. You immediately answer when you hear an alert. You might also feel tethered to checking in on the outside world through Facebook or Instagram.
While technology can be wonderful, it can also distract us from more important things, like family and work. Set limits on the time you spend online each day in order to avoid the background noise of other people’s agendas and opinions.
Check email and social media only two or three times during the workday. Remove your phone from the room completely if you must.
Remove yourself from the background noise
Instead of always removing the source of the distractions, you can remove yourself instead.
Get up and go for a walk, head to a coffee shop or library to get things done. This can also help if you simply need a change of scenery to escape the distractions of your own mind or your mental blocks. Moving to a new environment can calm your mind and help you focus.
- Start small, sit quietly for 5 minutes with absolutely no background noise
- Turn off your phone and computer
- Don’t listen to music or the television
- If you’re ready for more, practice meditation for 15 minutes
Getting comfortable with silencing background noise (audible, visual and mental) might take time, so practice every day.