You’ve had an eleven hour day from hell. There was no whitespace in your schedule, as usual. Everyone wanted a piece of you, meetings were plentiful and contentious, and the vague plan you’d had to do something productive just got filled up with other less-than-productive things.
Exhausted, you get into your car for the drive home. When you walk in the door, you say hello and head upstairs to change out of your office attire. Then it hits you. Silence. It’s quiet. You close your eyes, and it feels wonderful; you sit on the edge of the bed and drink it in for a few minutes. Amazingly, your usual energy returns and you are ready to face the evening with more moxie.
What if you could allow some of that wonderful silence into that crazy work-world of yours? Silence may be just the thing you need at work to have your long days feel more energetic.
Silence is a tool to get more energy
Silence is an important tool that leaders can pull into their day if they are intentional about it. The excuse that you “just don’t have time” is no longer valid when you know that quiet and calm can renew and refresh you. How can you get gently put more silence into your work day to increase your moxie?
Arrive at work early: Arriving a few minutes before the hustle and bustle starts is a smart strategy for increasing your leadership moxie. Close your door, don’t turn on the computer (yet), and use the time to prepare for your day. What do you want to accomplish? What are your priorities and intentions for the day? Write them down and refer to them throughout the day.
Block out time for silence: It doesn’t need to be much – five or ten minutes will do. If you listen to your body rhythms and know the times of day when your energy is at its ebb, block out some time then to just listen to the silence. Close your office door, turn off the lights, forward your phone, silence your Blackberry, sit comfortably away from your desk, if possible (to avoid temptation to work) and breathe. Listen to the silence and notice your breath as it fills and empties your lungs.
Shut up: You really don’t need to fill every pause in conversation with your words. Allowing some silence to unfold also allows thought for everyone in the conversation (and thinking is good). Yes, it might feel uncomfortable at first, but being conscious of pausing and allowing some quiet in the dialog will make it better and more creative. You’ll get over the discomfort. And I promise that if you wait long enough, someone will speak and the words that come out will be insightful.
I want to know; in what other ways can silence bring some moxie into your workday?