We were out last night, celebrating our youngest daughters completing her college studies and to ‘officially’ kick off her ‘summer of partying’ before going off to University in September (for probably three more years of partying, knowing her!! 🙂 ).

Well, it was a late night but as the designated driver, I didn’t need the extra hour(s) sleep this morning! 

As I came down stairs, I was hit by the silence in the house, only for that to be interrupted by our clingy cockapoo, Lottie, wanting to play.

After a few minutes, we both sat on the sofa, Lottie now content as I was doing what she wanted – tickling her tummy – and I let my eyes close as the silence returned.  We are fortunate to be surrounded by farmland and as my mind relaxed, I became conscious of all of the background sounds, the birdsong appeared louder than ever, the gentle rumble of the boiler firing up to ensure that we have sufficient hot water during the day, the occasional clunk from the fridge freezer as it produces yet more ice for the dispenser and the gentle tick tock of the clock.

All of these sounds are there every day, but how often do you notice them?

Interestingly, after a few minutes of letting my mind wander, these sounds seemed to blend together and creative thoughts started to spring up – one of which was the catalyst for this post!.

Over the next (I don’t know, probably 15/20 minutes), so many creative thoughts started to circulate – my mind had entered what is know as “Alpha State”, where your brain activity slows down to between 7 and 14 HZ and becomes naturally more receptive, open, creative and less critical.

Interesting, I was ‘awoken’ from this state by the noise of a delivery truck reversing up the lane and was about to get up and go about my Saturday, when Lottie got wind of my impending actions and looked at me with those doggy eyes and subconsciously made her case that “my tummy needs more tickling!”     

I decided to give in to her pleading (not for the first time 🙂 ) and allowed my mind to wander again. Very soon, I entered this Alpha State again and became clear about something that had been troubling me for a few weeks.

Once again, I have been reminded of the power of giving yourself some ‘space’

Within the Inside Track podcast, I often ask my guests what they do to alleviate the stress of driving organisational transformation and although responses vary, including yoga, cycling, running, walking, swimming, getting back to nature, these all have one thing in common – the power of giving yourself some space, some ‘me-time’.

In the past, I’ve done a lot of road cycling and more recently, I’ve been doing more swimming.  In both, the fact that I’m alone, with limited distractions, I find that I quickly enter into a ‘zone’ where things become much clearer. 

Studies into personal productivity highlight the power of creating space in your diary. 

It has been proven time and time again, that personal productivity increases exponentially if you treat every hour as 50 minutes rather than 60.  That is, the give yourself 10 minutes in every hour to do nothing.  To stop and relax.  To certainly get up from your desk and move around, but also to allow yourself the option of taking advantage of dropping into the Alpha state more often.

At first, this won’t be easy but with practice, you’ll learn how to quickly calm your brain and remove the ‘noise’ around you and just be. 

This may be coming across a bit ‘new-age’ claptrap, but I assure you that in my experience, when I do this, I’m able to do more, feel way more energised and much more engaged with those people around me.

As we come out the Pandemic and life gets busier, it’s more important than ever to allow yourself some space to just relax and allow your creative juices to flow.   

Even more importantly in our household, Lottie gets her tummy tickled more! 🙂

Please share your experiences and discuss what you do to create this type of space.

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