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The Benefits of Silence

7 May 2019
Mark Friend
Building a Business

For those that know me work never really stops. This bank holiday weekend’s relaxation and quiet time, together with early morning starts, have enabled me to complete the first draft of my business plan for the next financial year, review our newsletter, think further about how to improve our service offering and write this blog!

But how do you generate clarity of thought? How do you plan your business’ future and overcome those challenging problems you know you’ll face when you start work again?

How about silence? Silence to think.

Silence can be magical. Particularly if you lose yourself in your own thoughts whilst say walking in the beautiful Kent countryside. It’s amazing how things become clearer when there is no noise. This isn’t a secret but maybe something we have forgotten about or lost sight of in today’s chaotic world.

Anyone who has visited the home of Charles Darwin, Down House near Bromley, will have walked a gravel track called the “Sandwalk” which Charles Darwin called his “thinking path”. Twice a day, once in the morning and again in the afternoon, Charles Darwin would walk with his fox terrier, Polly, in order to get clarity of thought for his writing.

So what can you do to help you get inspired and more focused on your business? Here are four simple suggestions:

  1. In this digital world of constant noise could you declutter your mind? I would strongly recommend Cal Newport’s book “Digital Minimalism” where he recommends removing all non essential social media from your life for 30 days. Then the time saved can be filled with real life changing action. After 30 days has elapsed only reintroduce the social media which is essential to your life. My personal recommendation is if you are addicted to the news or breakfast television cut it out or cut it back dramatically. You will be amazed at how little actually happens in a month- e.g. Brexit!!!!
  2. Get up before your family does and spend a precious half an hour or an hour of ‘me time’- reading, writing, planning your day (strictly no social media or checking your emails etc…) – you will be surprised at how much you get done.
  3. Go for a walk (how about the occasional walk to work if this is possible), cut the lawn, dig the garden over, go for a run, or even meditate – do something where there is no music blaring, your smart phone is out of reach and where you can get lost in your own thoughts. You’ll be amazed at how things become clearer.
  4. Once you have had time to think you may struggle to formalize your ideas into a plan. If so why not spend a whole day with us doing strategic planning or discuss with us how we can help you with your one page business plan or to act as your “finance director”? Meeting with a third party away from the day to day operational side of your business is an ideal way to help review where you are and to plan for where you are going.

If you are interested in a strategic planning day or want us to work more closely with you on business planning then why not contact either Andrew Grant or me, Mark Friend.

Give silence a go, strictly no smart phone!

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