Input Overload

As I was stepping into the shower today, I was thinking that I would like one of those shower speakers to play music or podcasts. Then I realized the shower is one of the last places I have where there is no opportunity to consume other people’s input.

Like many people, my best ideas happen in the shower. Those small moments where there is nothing but your thoughts is becoming rarer.

I noticed that again a week ago. (Insight and awareness appear in cycles. Sometimes I need to be reminded over and over again.) I have been reclaiming these moments. I no longer get out my phone while waiting at appointments. Sitting in the dentist chair Monday waiting for the dentist, the assistant asked if I wanted my phone. I said no.

I can put on my makeup without background noise, though I saw mirrors with built-in speakers when I looked for a vanity mirror. Or eat lunch without watching a video. I hike in nature without audio.

I love music when I am driving, but sometimes I will drive without anything playing if I have been feeling amped up and frazzled.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the input coming into your life, stop some of it. We get to be in control with what we read, hear, see, consume in our downtime at least part of the time. We are burying ourselves in a quest to stay relevant, productive and always learning.

Allow yourself to be bored and quiet. See how that extra space feels. Watch TV without playing on your phone. Go on the treadmill with only your thoughts. Enter the restroom without a magazine.

Today, decide on one spot that you could add quiet without input, whether the shower, car, or waiting in line. What moment can you reclaim for your sanity and creativity?

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