I spent some time reading yesterday afternoon in a coffee shop. There were two pretty meaty articles I’d printed out and I needed some time and space to settle in to read them with full attention.
After I ordered my iced coffee and found out they had gluten-free ginger cookies (sold!), I settled into a lovely armchair to do some learnin’.
The first article, John Gardner’s “Personal Renewal,” was recommended to me by my friend Chris Halligan. I met him through a networking group when he did a presentation on failure (his failure, actually, when trying to launch one of his previous companies). We’ve kept in touch, talking periodically, and sharing good stuff like this article.
The second article I found from Scientific America called “Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime.”
Both pieces were eight printed pages long, single spaced. Both required my full, undivided attention. And both, ironically, pointed to the same conclusion:
It is our responsibility to create meaning in our lives. And in order to do that, we must slow down and act thoughtfully.
I believe this applies to your business, your life and the relationships you hold.
How do you do that?
- Take the downtime your brain needs, which means giving your mind permission to wander
- End your obsession with checking email and social media
- Schedule small breaks daily, day-long breaks each weekend, and week-long breaks at least twice a year (four is better)
- Those daily breaks? Closing your eyes for seven to 10 minutes will do wonders for your brain’s alertness
- Get outside and into nature. Find grass, trees, and an absence of cars, concrete, and noise
- Pay attention to how you feel. If you feel like an empty shell, pay attention!
The best takeaway from the articles?
- “A wandering mind unsticks us from ‘time’ so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future. Moments of respite may even be necessary to keep one’s moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self.”
- “We have to face the fact that most men and women out there in the world of work are more stale than they know, more bored than they would care to admit.”
- “There’s a difference between admiring the idea of taking breaks and actually committing the time to practice it.”
Take some time to ponder these ideas.
Then, make some time to practice them. You’ll be more rested and refreshed while you’re getting work done – and hopefully you’ll have taken some serious time to create a life and work that doesn’t leave you feeling bored.
Make some room,
Angie Mattson Stegall
P.P.S. Don’t forget – the Kindle version of my book is FREE until Friday, August 14, 2015. Get yours! (And please to leave me a review when you have finished reading.)