Ever think someone is trying to tell you something?

In various forms, from various sources, I have received one message very loudly, and very clearly recently – the power of the pause.

“Music is the space between the notes.”

French composer Claude Debussy expressed it so well. The spaces between the notes add expression, allowing them to resonate and reverberate.

In dance it is often the space between the steps, as much as the steps themselves, that create the visual impact.

And in negotiation the power is with the negotiator who allows their words to hang in the air, resisting the temptation to fill the gap.

We have all had problems that have seemed insurmountable, only to find after a good night’s sleep that the solution seems obvious. The human brain has a natural ability to process thought and emotion while we sleep, without the distractions and constant stimulation of wakefulness. It is the same with taking some quiet time.

We lead such busy lives these days. Whether we are employees, freelancers, or run small businesses, we constantly rush from one thing to another.

There is barely time to get everything done, never mind sit and reflect on what we have achieved, or dream about what we have planned and where we are going.  But we should make some time.The temptation for sole traders and small business owners is to do everything themselves, filling every waking moment with activity. But where is the time to plan? Where is the time to pro-actively drive the business forward, rather than simply respond to the immediacy of the everyday demands?

Simply taking time to think encourages creativity and problem-solving skills. It may seem counter-intuitive to make time to do nothing but think when you are extremely busy. However the long-term benefits are proven.

I can almost hear you dismissing this suggestion as a luxury you can’t afford, but if you are serious about your business it is essential to your success.

Start by blocking out one or two hours a week that are your time. This is not time for catching up on your emails, but time to reflect on your achievements and your challenges, your plans and your dreams.

If you can’t find this time, maybe you should consider outsourcing some tasks or responsibilities to make some time.

Go on, I dare you. Join me in discovering the power of the pause.