Today’s hyperactive and attention-demanding world makes reflection no easy task. Nonetheless, we still must find a way to carve out “mental space” so we can think clearly, plan, reflect, and dream.
Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, expressed the value of reflection years ago, even when the world was not so information-rich and time-poor. He said, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
Your reflection space might be your car as you drive home after work, a reading or meditation corner in your house, your bathtub, your gym, a nearby park where you walk – anywhere you can be alone with your thoughts. The thinking, planning, and reflection you do in this space helps you get off the treadmill and rise above the daily whirlwind to gain valuable perspective.
Here are five simple ways you can create more mental space:
- Schedule meetings for 45 minutes instead of one-hour to build in time to synthesize your thoughts in-between meetings.
- Create a recurring, weekly meeting with yourself, even if only 15 minutes, to reflect on your thoughts about yourself, your team and your goals.
- Occasionally turn off your car audio or digital music so you can think while you drive.
- Take a walk. In the morning to prepare for your day; after lunch to get fresh air and re-energize; in the evening to unwind and reflect on your day.
- Disconnect from all forms of technology for one hour a week to get back in touch with things and people who are right in front of you. (i.e., experience real life vs. virtual life)
Not only is a mind a terrible thing to waste, it is a terrible thing to clutter. Find the time and space to free your mind to do what it does best – think.
Learn more about how to build a positive mindset with The Power of Positive Coaching tools: