When you are running a business, there are endless responsibilities and tasks to accomplish. For many, the only solution to managing it all is multi-tasking. Even those with strong teams, to whom much is delegated, still are finding ways to respond to emails between meetings, review documents while trying to grab a bite to eat, are completing key deliverables while muted on conference calls…and on and on and on.
What is missing in all of this? Time to reflect and refresh. If you just laughed out loud or rolled your eyes…keep reading. This is my biggest challenge each day as well – as a strong pursuer of productivity, it seems counter-intuitive to take time to pause. But there are valuable reasons to do this, that will actually increase your productivity levels substantially.
Here are 4 that are worth considering:
- Decluttering :: Taking 15 minutes to clear your head of everything whirling around and assigning it to another time or person is a great way to increase your output for the day or week. Simply make a 3 column list: Column A is for the task, Column B is for the person who can complete the task, and Column C is for the Delivery Date. If it is a more complex task, you may even want to add a Column D for Estimated Time on Task. In 15 minutes, you may well have delegated and organized a full day’s work and created a few spare hours for yourself to generate new business opportunities, express gratitude to a team member, or jump into a special project you have been waiting to begin.
- Brainstorming :: Think time without distraction gives you room to consider the possibilities. However you brainstorm best, whether it is with voice recorded notes, pen and paper, a laptop, or simply a walk with your thoughts – pick an issue / challenge / opportunity and take a 15 minute undisturbed brainstorming break.
- Innovation :: What could transform the business? What would take it to the next level? How could you make small changes with large results? Start thinking. Maybe drawing. No rules. Just dream. Then remember to make notes and take this week’s innovative ideas and make them next week’s brainstorming topic.
- Rejuvenation :: Even luxury vehicles run out of gas. It is so important to pause and take a moment to refuel. Perhaps it is just breathing deeply while you slowly enjoy an ounce of fine chocolate. Or a walk around the block with no technology to join you. For the extroverts in the crowd, maybe grab a coffee and call a friend to just chit chat for a few minutes. When you circle back to your work, you will be clear and ready to engage.
To do this well, I recommend you find a place where you can focus. In some cases, this might even be your desk. Just remember, if you are staying put, be sure to turn off your email, close your door, put your phone on silent, and set your alarm for 15 minutes so you don’t spend all your time watching the clock.
Why not try it right now? Go for it. Declutter. Brainstorm. Innovate. Rejuvenate.