Lately, my brain has been super full. I’m working on the end stages of several book projects, creating a new course, coaching a lot, and launching a new summer writing group program.

It’s a lot to think about.

The course design, in particular, has been both keeping me up at night and waking me up early in the mornings — but in the best ways. My brain is in constant churn mode about the design, content, and delivery of the materials and I’m having a lot of creative ideas that are coming to me fully formed.

I’m having so much fun working on this project, but it’s also a bit exhausting.

At this point, I’ve realized that my brain can’t really take a lot of additional stimulation. Partly this is because it’s too busy with just cranking out so much creative work.

Also, I’ve found that in creative periods like this, it can be hard for me to focus for long periods of time on anything other than the work since my brain just wants to keep churning, even when it’s time to rest.

Ever felt like that?

All this creative work has me seeking out quiet and solitude a lot more than usual (which was also one of my annual goals). Here are some of the ways I’m creating more silence in my life to offer my brain a bit of a rest:

  • Quiet in the car. Instead of my typical podcasts or audiobooks, I’m just turning off all the noise and letting my brain process information and think about things without any additional noise in the background. I’m also taking time once I’ve arrived somewhere to sit in the car and jot down any things that occurred to me while I was driving.
  • Quiet in the early mornings. I’m almost always awake by 5am, so early mornings are my sweet spot for time alone to process information or get creative work done.
  • Quiet during runs. I’m definitely a podcast-listening-runner, but for the past few weeks I’m been craving that time for thinking instead of learning. Even when I do turn on a podcast episode, I find that I’m not really able to focus on the information being provided and I just end up thinking about other things.
  • Quiet walks during the day. Like my runs, I’m putting away my earbuds and my phone and just letting my brain do it’s thing as I walk around.
  • Quiet lunches and dinners. While I’m eating throughout the day, I’m also using my meals as processing time. I turn off all music, podcasts, and television and just eat in silence.
  • Quiet in the evenings. Although some nights I definitely seek out a movie on Netflix to help me relax, there are also evenings where I write notes or do work on a project that my brain has been thinking about all day. I’m currently reading a novel, but mostly right before I go to bed — even fiction is too much to focus on right now.

These creative periods don’t last forever, so I like to try and squeeze as much out of them as possible. That said, I’m already planning the mini-vacation I want to take once the books are done, the course is launched, and the writing groups are full — by that point, I know I’ll need it.

To think on:

  • How are you using quiet spaces in your life?
  • When do you find that you need quiet the most during your creative process?