You need quiet time to be able to focus, plan, think, and reboot. Yet it’s often at a premium.
I have to have quiet time in my life. I am an introvert, and quiet time recharges me so that I can be around people. Take away my quiet time too long and the results are not pretty. I snarl when my reserves are too low.
So I have compiled my methods to get the quiet time I need to recharge, plan, focus, think, work and reboot. Here is my list of 10 Ways To Get Quiet Time For Focus.
Why Quiet Time
Quiet time is essential if you are going to do any deep work. It’s a time when you can truly think things through, rather than moving from task to task without thinking about the whys and wherefores.
Yet quiet time can be difficult to get, especially if you work in a place that demands a lot of interaction, or if you have children at home.
Why It’s So Difficult
The difficulty in finding quiet time is compounded by our always-on society. The expectation is that people will respond to email, social media, phone calls, etc. as soon as they happen.
But all that reactivity gives other people the ability to direct your attention and thoughts. It’s big business, and the companies behind it are very good at it.
For introverts like me, this isn’t sucking our attention. I require significant alone time in order to recharge.
It is possible to find quiet time, though. Below are 10 of my off-the-beaten-path methods that I have used to get that space in my life.
10 Ways To Find Quiet Time
The first two ways generally apply
1. Off-limits Room
If you have a space of your own, you can tell people not to disturb you in that space. It doesn’t have to be big; it doesn’t even have to be permanent. I have a converted closet as my writing studio, and my family knows not to disturb me when I am in there unless there are flames or blood involved. Even going into a room with the door and closing it can work for this.
2. Get up Before Everyone Else
Let me state for the record: I am not a morning person. Yet getting up before everyone else, even on weekends, gives me a good hour to do some planning and thinking. I am a big fan of the SAVERS of the Miracle Morning, and I use this as a springboard for planning the day and working on the latest novel.
3. Hire A Sitter
You don’t have to leave the house to use a sitter. Hiring a teenager to watch the kids with the instruction “Just make sure they don’t bother me” can give you a whole afternoon or evening. I used this method when I painted my young daughter’s room. The babysitter played with her outside, I got the work done.
4. Set The Expectation
This one can be used both at work and home. It’s about training your family and coworkers to know if you are available. This is not instantaneous, but once it is ingrained, you will have the time you need. It can be as simple as stating “don’t disturb me unless there are flames or blood,” or blocking out time on the calendar and closing the door.
This method works for small amounts of time, and usually as a stress relief.
When my daughter was preschool, I envied people who could go to the bathroom undisturbed. Even now, the animals will try to get into the bathroom with me, so I have to make sure the door is closed and locked. But this strategy will also work at the office. Need to step away from the whirlwind of tasks and figure out what to do next? Do it in the bathroom.
6. Short Walk
Walks can blow away brain fog. They are also a good place to be alone. Need to think through something? Leave the headphones behind and do a productive meditation, walking and focusing on the issue at hand.
7. Go Somewhere at Lunch
It isn’t enough to go sit in your car. People will find you. Instead, go somewhere during your lunch break and get some quiet time. Some favorites for me have been the local coffee shop, the parking lot at the mall, the overflow parking lot of a museum, and the local bookstore.
8. Noise Cancelling Headphones
I love noise cancelling headphones. But here’s my secret: I don’t always have them plugged into something. When people see that I have my headphones on, they assume I can’t hear them, because I won’t respond. I pointedly ignore them and blame it on the headphones. After a while, people will look to see if you are wearing them, and if so, come back later. The over-the-ear headphones work best for this.
9. “Conference Call”
My family and coworkers think I have quite a few conference calls. In reality, I am either sitting in a room getting things done, or sitting at my desk with my headphones plugged into the phone. I’m not sure why people are so hesitant to interrupt you while you’re on the phone, but they are. This takes advantage of this to get some quiet time.
10. Close The Door/Book A Conference Room
This works well at home and at the office. If you are lucky enough to have a room with a door that you can retreat to, you can do that, as long as you set expectations (blood and flames). However, you can also book rooms at work and get away from your desk to get some quiet time.
These are the 10 strategies I routinely use to get some quiet time for deep work, planning or thinking. Do you have any others? I would love to hear them.
Share your strategies for getting quiet time in the comment section below.