Life Uncluttered – 7 Ways to Find the Stillness

Sections of this topic

    I recently provided a training on Supervising Millenials. We discussed whether in our digitally driven life we are becoming more attention deficit that in previous eras. There are so many opportunities to be distracted- such as reading interesting blogs! If you feel you must answer that email, text or IM immediately, you may want to examine how cluttered your life and/or your brain is.

    Huge chunks of time are wasted over the course of a day by switching from one task to the next. It takes mental energy, and time, moving from one activity to the next. I’ve read it takes anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes to regain your thoughts after an interruption. Pay attention to how much time you may be wasting switching back and forth between tasks. You can take control of your time and your energy by uncluttering your life. In many cases you can decide whether to let the phone ring into voice mail. Same goes for answering an email message or IM. Regardless of your generation, Millenial or otherwise, the essential point is that YOU CHOOSE what you focus on.

    What brings you peace? Have you been able to still your mind? Do you want to?

    A few bold companies are claiming one day a week where people cannot answer emails (and presumably can’t IM or text). That day is spent in conversation, reflection, planning etc. It’s time out that can create opportunities for new ideas to emerge, relationships to strengthen, or general rejuvenation and renewal for the brain. There’s research that suggests that our greatest breakthroughs or “Aha’s” happen when our brains are in slower brain waves, such as when we are just waking up or in the shower in the morning.

    Here are some simple suggestions for finding some peace and stillness in the midst of your work day:

    1. Let the phone ring into voice mail and bless the person who is calling you. Know that you can call them back when your mind is more clear and focused.
    2. If you must answer the phone, let it ring one extra time and take a deep breath before picking up the phone. Allow yourself a little space to bring your awareness on your breath.
    3. Turn off your IM and email alerts if your job permits. Choose when and how regularly you will check emails or IMs.
    4. Every time you sit back down in your chair, focus on your feet touching the floor. Feel your back in the chair. Focus on how your body is feeling in that moment. No judgments, just notice.
    5. Stretch your arms and legs and take a deep breath at least once an hour. Allow your body to relax even for 10 seconds.
    6. As you walk to a meeting or out the door, snap your fingers to bring your awareness into the present moment.
    7. Allow yourself a few extra minutes to get to where you are going and make it a walking meditation. Intentionally slow down your pace. Breath 3 deep breathes before you enter the room.

    Quietness by Rumi

    Become the sky.

    Take an axe to the prison wall.


    Walk out like somebody suddenly born into color.

    Do it now.

    You are covered with the thick cloud.

    Slide out the side. Die,

    and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign

    that you have died.

    Your old life was a frantic running

    from silence.

    The speechless full moon

    comes out now.


    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.


    Linda is an author, speaker, coach, and consultant. Go to her website to read more about her work, view video clips of her talks, and find out more about her book “Path for Greatness: Spirituality at Work” available on Amazon.