Creating, delivering, innovating are all processes with peaks and valleys; not linear, not flat. What do you think? Is it less productive to spend time mulling a new development or researching a new idea? How about courting the muses for inspiration? Do you feel you’re truly productive only when you’re actually selling your product or service and earning money?
I remember speaking about this with an artist/designer friend. In his creative process, there always comes a time when no matter what he does, everything around him gets quiet: no contacts, no leads, no work, no calls returned. He has learned his lesson over the years and now he no longer forces it. Instead he takes on a more observant, receptive inner stance. He steps into the new cadence of his work with ease, pays attention and serves his process as best he can. This has proven hugely beneficial, healthy and profitable for him. During quiet times he rests, reads, hikes, evaluates, thinks, learns, emerges ready to tackle a new period of activity. What a great way to honor and approach work!
And it makes perfect sense to me. We can’t always work the same way or with the same intensity all the time. There are times for inspiration, for introspection, for active socializing, for earning money and exchanging ideas. All in one continuum. The problem is that sometimes we have momentum and we want to keep going. We have our own ideas regarding what, when or how things should happen when building our success. But, endeavors are cyclical. They have different needs at different times, just as we do.
When we learn to be flexible, pay attention and serve our work process in an organic way, we succeed much more easily. We focus on those activities we are best suited to doing well at any given time, we capitalize on our strengths and we use the quiet times as part and parcel of our success strategy.
Next time there’s a lull in your work or business, embrace the quiet time and use it to evaluate, rest, plan, innovate, or digest. You will be amazed at the difference it makes in your attitude and your productivity.