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, dream.
My youngest daughter has a special area in her room where she can chill and relax. She calls it her "chillax zone." Although your chillax zone might not have big pink pillows and a fluffy white carpet, we all need to make a time and place that offers us mental space.
Your 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 ways you can create some 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.
- Turn off your car radio occasionally to think on your way to work or debrief on your way home.
- Take a walk after lunch to get fresh air, reflect on the morning and get energized for the afternoon.
- 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.
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.