Quiet the mind and the soul will speak – Ma Jaya Sati
At 10 pm last night I abandoned this post as I just couldn’t focus. I wanted to get this done but finally, I realised that a) it wasn’t going to make sense and b) very few people would see it at 11 pm at night. As a small business owner who wears most, if not all, the different hats required to run a business life can be busy. Add in on top social and family commitments and we can easily end up burning the candle at both ends. So I made myself a hot chocolate and as I drank it (mindfully) I realised that I could come back to it this morning.
The life of a business owner can at times feel isolating and can feel like a lot of effort is required. Perpetuated by the notion that busyness equals productiveness we can fall into the trap of never taking breaks, holidays and working at times that don’t work for us (for me, at 10 pm!). It can feel like our attention is being pulled in so many directions, making it difficult to focus and get things done.
Have you ever considered how you think? We can only actually think about one thing at a time. As we go through the day we may find we focus on a task (e.g. writing an article) for a period of time but there will be times when our minds wander to a concern we are having or what to have for breakfast or a past conversation. Our thoughts can be in the past, future or the present.
These thoughts, as well as external interruptions, can have a big effect on what we can achieve as a business owner juggling all the plates we have. We might get stuck over the words we want to use for our ‘elevator pitch’ or sit down to do something creative and get waylaid thinking about our bank balance. How do we find focus if our mind is constantly wandering? The good news is we don’t have to find focus, we already have it.
The importance of quiet time
When I first started looking into mindfulness I didn’t think I had time to learn yet another skill but knew something had to change. As I started my practice, I realised I didn’t not have time.
You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour. – Zen saying
When we give ourselves 10 minutes (or more) of space to quieten our mind we become better at noticing the opportunities that otherwise might pass us by as we go around in a state of overwhelm. As you create a regular time for yourselves you’ll notice that you can achieve more in less time, interruptions become less bothersome and life feels more effortless. In addition, our hearts, heads and instincts all work together in harmony making business decisions even easier as we align with our values. That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
I mentioned above that we already have all of the focus we need; we find it by quietening our thoughts and tuning in to our wisdom/intuition/whatever you call it. As we become more attuned to our intuition we find it easier to focus one thing at a time.
Growing your business effortlessly
So how to create a mindful business? By creating time and space for you to think, to quieten your mind and focus you can grow your business without distraction and hard work. I don’t mean you don’t need to work hard, I mean it doesn’t have to feel like hard work. Here are 3 things you can do to help yourself:
- Create time for a ‘Creative Hour’ where you turn off all external distractions, gather your thoughts, settle into what you want to achieve for the day and bring your full attention to the tasks at hand. Perhaps you don’t need an hour – do what works for you.
- Make time for regular breaks – get outside if you can and go for a walk around the block. It can transform your mindset and bring inspiration, focus and insights.
- When we focus on listening fully to what the other person is saying we have to be present. Go into conversations with clients/potential clients/stakeholders with an open mind, trusting your intuition to guide you to say or do the best thing.
The benefits of all this on your business will be reduced stress, more time to think about your business and making decisions from a place of wisdom and authenticity.
The less you try to impress, the more impressive you are” – Denis Waitly