Listen to the quiet (part 1)
I don't know about you, but experiencing quiet is at the top of my desires each morning when I wake up. And maintaining quiet while everyone is sleeping is pretty easy to do in the morning. (Mid-day quiet, or even yet, after-school or before-dinner quiet are completely different challenges.)
During the day, I find it hard to exist quietly. I love podcasts and all types of music - they move me through the day. On most days, when I hop in the car, I always have music playing. Periodically, though, I will get in the car and desire to have total quiet for a few minutes - time to be alone with my thoughts. (But some days, this is super uncomfortable!) And without thinking, I'll turn the radio back on. Have you ever paid attention to your media habits? Sometimes I wonder why I try so hard to find just the right song. Am I trying to distract myself from something?
Ironically, as I type this, I just returned to my desk with my earbuds, so I can listen to some music while I type this post. My husband and I share an office, and at this very moment, he is talking on the phone with a client. He speaks pretty loudly - and it makes concentrating almost impossible. So, my earbuds and Pandora (usually classical or instrumental) turned up pretty loudly give me a "quiet" space - where I can block out the world and focus on my work. Mozart helps me write better...he allows me to leave this world and transcend to a timeless place, unreachable by anyone. Just me and words exist there.
I have a lovely friend I used to work with years ago who only listens to wordless music when she writes. She used to listen to jazz quite a bit. And I think of her each time I sit down to write with my earbuds. She taught me the art of zoning everything out and concentrating on the task at hand. (We also worked in cubicles, where there was no privacy. Headphones are a great solution for this!)
It's good to create an environment where you work well. Even if it's not completely silent - you can still have mental "quiet" by creating boundaries.
What quiet boundaries can you create today?