Our world is insanely busy. We wake up, look at the phone, and already begin to prioritize the thousand things we need to accomplish in the next 24 hours before we start it all over again. But my biggest, and best, piece of advice to CEOs, entrepreneurs and executives -- well, to everyone frankly, is to SLOW DOWN. This piece is all about how to begin to do that. To use gratitude as a way to put a lever in the cog and bring your world to a grinding halt so you can truly enjoy it and not just live it, but live it purposefully.
As always, in full disclosure, my personal life has taken a path that I was not expecting and things are weighing heavily on me at the moment. I have a pile of extra stressors that I was not anticipating and emotional baggage being dumped on me that I not only don't want but don't have the time or capacity to deal with...but such is life. As a CEO, mother, etc etc..I can't drop it all to deal with it. But here is the path I choose to take, and I hope you learn a bit from it as well.
Gratitude - why executives need it
Slowing down - The Clarity breakTM
So how do you help slow down your world as an executive - beyond meditation and gratitude? We call it a Clarity BreakTM, and you need to be taking them frequently. The term "Clarity Break" was created by Gino Wickman, founder of EOS Worldwide. Defining a Clarity Break is simple. It's a set period of time, away from the office, that you set aside to think and work "on" your business, not "in" it. Some people need 30 minutes a day, others need a few hours a week, or a half day each month - do whatever works for you. But the purpose of the Clarity Break is to set aside time AWAY from the office to think. This may be journaling, brain dumping your ideas on paper, drawing, etc. Here is how you do it.
1. Set a time on your calendar and protect that time. Do not schedule over it, move it, or otherwise adjust it. Set it in stone as sacred time for you.
2. Get out of the office and away from distractions. Find a great spot - a coffee shop, library, a park bench, etc. Some place you enjoy.
3. This is NOT the time to play catch-up on things you've been putting on the back burner.
4. Sit with a blank pad of paper and a pen and let things flow. Let ideas come to you. Let your creative self come forward.
Your brain will do amazing things when you give it the freedom to cut loose from agendas, tasks, appointments, and assignments.
During great weather seasons I take mine at a picnic table at a park on the Potomac River. I have a sketchpad and colored pencils and I literally let my brain loose to think about ideas and concepts or simply draw mandalas. I don't go with an agenda, I let my mind wander. When I return to my "work" I am refreshed, relaxed, and process things in a clearer way. I feel like things shake loose and I gain better perspective on what we need to be focused on.
Want to read more about Clarity Breaks? Here are a few of my favorite blog posts from my fellow EOS Implementors at EOS Worldwide:
As always, we are here to help! Be sure to check out our new Small Business Cohort Program or our other consulting services for companies and associations. We also run great events to give you more information about what we do and how you can see amazing results for your organization. Click here for info on our events. You can always email our Founder & CEO, Amy Riccardi too.
Amy Riccardi is the Chief People Officer and Founder of HCM2020. She's a guest lecturer at Georgetown and George Washington Universities and works with executive teams and CEOs to help scale and grow their business.