Why it is good to have a quiet time in business

A Spring walk next to the hornbeam wood.

We all like to be busy. I like to be busy. What is important for us is to be busy doing useful things, and not to be too busy that we are not thinking and planning.

Being busy is good for an active mind, but I have always found it valuable to give myself a break outside the work environment. I go to the gym quite a lot, but that also involves being busy and thinking what I am doing while I am doing it. It isn’t the sort of break from work I need for my mind.

I need to relax and let my mind relax. I recommend you try it. I go for a walk and listen to the birds, and try to pick them out and have a good look at them. I am lucky, or maybe it is by design that I live close to woods and open fields and not too far from the river. Sometimes I like just to sit quietly.

A quiet time with Gandhi in Tavistock Square

I have been trying to have quiet times during the day a long time before I set up my own businesses. When I worked in London I always walked in my lunch hour and after work. A decade or more ago I was able to spend time sitting quietly in the pleasant squares of Bloomsbury, close to where I worked.

In my quiet times I have most of my best ideas for improving and expanding my business, and for going in new directions. Many of my blog posts originate from observing when I am out or from just letting my mind drift. The more I relax, the fitter my mind is and the better I am when I get back to work.

Of course we are all different, but this works for me. Why don’t you try it? Do you like to get out for a breather in the fresh air?

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Blogging originality and evolution of ideas

New York Times

Image via Wikipedia

A couple of my favorite bloggers have talked about the apparent decline in original thought. Danny Brown suggests that popularity can breed sameness in part because of pandering to the masses. Gini Dietrich talks about aggregation and automation which encourages laziness on the part of the bloggers or writers, and, I think, on the part of the readers as well.

Evolution of thought

It’s not all bad news though. More people read more stuff than when we relied on newspapers. We see the same ideas or the same advice being imparted. We can scan or gloss over this. What is exciting, though, is seeing people pick up and run with ideas, and develop them. There is a sort of osmosis where new thought filters through and blossoms. Of course we all have many of the same sources, such as Mashable, and I read many top bloggers though I cannot read everything without giving up work and sleep.

At the same time, many have different slants on the same subject. I think it interesting when I read a post one day and then someone blogs on a similar subject a day or a week later, perhaps having read the previous one. As long as original thinking takes place, I don’t think we always need to worry about the “sameness”. Ideas are there to be built on. “On the shoulders of Giants” and all that.


That is not to say that it is OK for anyone to just copy an idea and spin someone else’s article as their own, or, even worse, just republish a post as though it were their own. That has happened to me and probably to you too. It is very annoying even if it is sometimes a rather back-handed compliment.

Being ourselves

I am not a top blogger, although of course I have ambitions. Don’t we all? However, I do believe that we can best develop by simply being ourselves. Pamela Wilson put it quite well writing for Copyblogger a while back. Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion demonstrates how being ourselves and saying what we believe in a business blog makes for originality and a unique brand. He also shows that we can write about anything we like within reason, which helps our individual personalities to come out.

Yes, in writing this I have dipped into other people’s material. I am being myself, of course. Even if you think I lack originality in thought, maybe I have found you a great blogger you had missed. But perhaps you are already way ahead of the game.

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