I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel that our lives become so “busy” with things to do, places to go, people to see, it is often difficult to find the time to just be quiet and allow yourself time to think.
Often we rush to get to work after sitting in traffic, it’s a mad rush from the time we walk into the office until we leave, we rush to get through the traffic to get home and as soon as we open the front door to the house, more demands are made on us by those waiting for us at home – a crisis to sort out, dinner/children’s homework or maybe just someone waiting to tell us what they have done or where they have been for the day. By the time we have a few minutes to ourselves, it is usually very late (after everyone else has gone to bed), we are able to take a deep breath and just sit . . . breathe . . . and relax.
How can we make use of these few minutes before bed to get the maximum out of our day?
Directed thinking activities:
Write: you don’t know what you’re thinking till you write it down. Writing is not always about the written output; it’s about the thinking that happens as you attempt to communicate. You do not have to share your writing with others for it to be time well spent.
You could start a journal (diary), a blog post or just keep a book at your bedside exclusively to jot down your thoughts for the day. You could even start a Gratitude Journal if you like.
Read a book: It’s not about the content of what you’re reading – it’s about the quiet time you’re spending by yourself. Reading is not about reading: it’s about thinking. It’s about hearing yourself think.
When last have you read a book? What book are you reading right now?
Undirected thinking activities:
Drive to and from the office/take a dog for a walk/take extra long shower or bath: you’re free from distraction, engaged in a monotonous activity that does not require active focus, and you’re in a different environment. A perfect place for creative thought.
What works for me is I have a little spiral notebook with a pen stuck into the spine of the book which I keep in my handbag to jot down any thoughts I have while driving (I wait until I’m standing at a traffic light to jot down what I’m thinking) or while I’m waiting for someone travelling with me. I find this is also perfect for jotting down a website address printed on a vehicle that I’m interested in finding out more about.
Stare out of aeroplane windows: Introspective reflections helped along by the flow of the landscape. When travelling I do the best I can to ensure that I get a window seat so I can be “alone with my thoughts” while travelling.
Organise your office/room/house: Tidy up documents, pick up around the floor, re-arrange books, it’s an excellent start to serious thinking. This one does not prompt serious thinking for me but it usually gives me new ideas to try out either prompted by a piece of paper which needs to be filed or thrown away.
What works for you? What gets your thinking/creative juices flowing?