Many business owners and leaders that I talk with often express that they have too much on their plate. The word “overwhelmed” comes up in their conversation. They are constantly juggling priorities between their company, employees, family and outside interests. In the words of Rudyard Kipling in “IF” - “It is tough to keep your head, when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you”. So, what can a person do? Take a Clarity Break.
A clarity break is a regularly scheduled appointment on your calendar with yourself. You define what regular is – a half hour daily, two hours weekly, a half day monthly. It’s up to you. The doing of it is what matters.
Gino Wickman, author of Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, states that “keeping your head clear, your confidence high, and your focus strong are vital in maintaining forward momentum.” Great leaders have a habit of taking a clarity break that allows them time to work on themselves and the business resulting in helping them rise above the frustrations and overwhelm feelings to a “clearheaded and confident state.”
Here are some pointers to make the break effective:
- Book that appointment time with yourself on a regular basis whether you decide to do it daily, weekly or monthly. It should be a minimal of one hour per week so divide your time accordingly.
- Find a quiet place away from the office and all the distractions and interruptions.
- Put your phone and other devices in airplane mode after arranging a fail-safe method for your family or assistant to notify you in case of dire emergency. Avoid technology distractions and just take a blank pad and a pen with you.
- Focus on yourself and a few of your biggest business challenges. Stare at that blank pad and important things will come up. Ideas will pop up.
If you are fearful that this won’t go well and you need help to focus, Stephanie Vozza wrote an article in Fast Company entitled 5 Steps To Finding Your Focus which has some ideas which might help.
I think taking a clarity break is one of our most important leadership practices. It’s that ability to get out of the weeds, look at your life, look at your business from a different perspective, and jotting down your thoughts, while keeping a journal.
Gino says that after taking a Clarity Break, “you will come back into the business clear, focused and confident. You will solve problems better, you will be clearer with your people, and you will set a better example. The hour that you spend will save you more than that hour later due to the clarity that it creates. You end up being more efficient and effective.”
Clemens Rettich, in his article Perpetual Motion Management, states that one of the three things that you need to get your team engaged is clarity. Why not commit to a Clarity Break for yourself so that you can be clear with your team and get them engaged?