Clarity Breaks are so called because the idea is to give you something to ponder during your next Clarity Break that will help you get more of what you want from your business.
Looking back at 2016 and analysing many of my client’s business achievements, it seems that those that were able to take regular clarity breaks appeared to gain traction quicker than those that didn’t. It’s a timeless discipline that all great leaders practice, and if you’re not doing them, you are truly not operating at your full potential and are at a disadvantage. 2017 should be about keeping your head clear, your confidence high, and your focus strong, all vital in growing your business.
Many leaders spend most of their time overwhelmed, tired, and buried in the day-to-day routine, unable to see beyond today. As a result, you don’t solve problems as well as you could, you don’t lead your people as well as you could, and you’re not a good example for them. Successful leaders have a habit of taking quiet thinking time. That means escaping the office on a regular basis for an hour or so. By working on yourself and the business, you will rise above feeling frustrated and overwhelmed to be clearheaded and confident. As a result, when you come back into the business, you will be laser-focused and in the right entrepreneurial frame of mind.
You can do this wherever works best for you, but it should never be in your office. You have to go to a place where your thoughts are uninterrupted. You can do this daily, weekly, or monthly, whichever works best for you. Everyone has his or her own formula; some clients have a favorite place in the morning on their way to work, some on their way home. I do it once a week for 45 minutes in a coffee shop. One of my clients takes about an hour week at his local park. Bill Gates takes two one-week “think weeks” every year.
Such free time to think is vital. As Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” Take the opportunity to review your V/TO or Organising Board, review your plans, read, think strategically, or fill out the Organisational Checkup. What I recommend for someone who doesn’t know what to do is to sit with a blank A4 pad and a pen (no technology). I promise you, through this simple exercise, all of the right thoughts will come to mind. It’s important that none of the work you’re doing is busywork. This is not an opportunity to play catch-up it is about working ON the business, not IN it.
After taking a Clarity Break, you will come back into the business clear, confident, focused and prepared, you’ll be ready for anything. You’ll solve problems better, you’ll be clearer with your people, and you’ll set a better example. When you’re having trouble solving a problem, check out for a Clarity Break. Take a deep breath, and put the necessary time into clearly thinking through the problem.
To get started, take out your calendar right now (or call your assistant) and pick a one-hour block of time next week, block it out, and do it. If you wait around for the time to appear, it never will. It must be an appointment that you pre-schedule with yourself every day, week, or month. Give it a try. Just do one. I have never had any person tell me that it was a waste of time. You might be wondering where you’re going to find an hour. The amazing paradox is that the hour you spend will save you more than that hour in the long run, due to increased productivity. You end up being much more efficient and effective. Even if you’re convinced you don’t have time, you must delegate an hour of your work to someone to free yourself up because a Clarity Break is your obligation as a leader in your organization.
Hope that helps. I look forward to giving you your next Clarity Break Thought soon.