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17 Sep

Schedule time for reflection

Datum: 2010-09-17 10:29

You spend quite a sub­stan­tial amount of hours of your life work­ing every week. If every­thing you do is about the details here and now, you’ll find that every­thing just keeps on spinning. 

??You might have become quite good at defin­ing the next steps in what you’re doing as tan­gi­ble, detailed to-do tasks. You com­plete the tasks you have to do one by one, you work with your overview and check where you are right now in the dif­fer­ent small or big projects you are running.

You have got a to-do-list, you have got a wait­ing-for-list, you store your ref­er­ence­ma­te­r­i­al in a sys­tem­at­ic way and you do a week­ly overview. You check off your lists, review your work, start new projects and keep track of everything.??But, after a while you might feel that this well-struc­tured, sys­tem­at­ic way of work­ing is a bit too mechan­i­cal. Isn’t it true that you also need time for the wide open spaces, for the unex­pect­ed, for clar­i­ty and reflection?

Spend time with the big perspectives

Reg­u­lar­ly sched­ule time for reflec­tion. Whether you spend ten min­utes or two hours at a time, it’ll be time well spent.??If you occa­sion­al­ly raise your eyes and spend time with the big per­spec­tives, you’ll feel more con­nect­ed to the future as well as the past. You will to a greater extent expe­ri­ence that you are able to influ­ence where you are right now and where you are going; in your pro­fes­sion­al life and with your business.

Do this

  1. Decide when and for how long your time for reflec­tion is going to be this time. 
  2. Sched­ule that time in your agenda. 
  3. When the time has come, equip your­self with an emp­ty white-board and a few well-filled white-board mark­ers, or your favorite notepad and a pen you real­ly enjoy writ­ing with. 
  4. Turn off the phone and close the door, so you will remain undisturbed. 
  5. Sit back and wait. 
  6. Reflect on every­thing that comes to mind and use the note mate­r­i­al to help you. If a few to-do-items is the result of your pon­der­ing and reflec­tion, add them to your to-do-list as usu­al. There­fore keep your to-do-list close at hand, so that you are able to quick­ly get rid of” the tasks you have come up with.

Per­son­al­ly, I use a blank hor­i­zon­tal sheet of paper to write down a few key words that rep­re­sent what I have got on my mind these days, what­ev­er is spin­ning in my head. It can be some assign­ments I’m work­ing on or a cou­ple of inter­nal devel­op­ment projects I’m run­ning. The words are often accom­pa­nied by geo­met­ric shapes and arrows. This is entire­ly with­out the­o­ret­i­cal or sci­en­tif­ic back­up, it’s just a way for me to reflect on what occu­pies my mind using visu­al aid in order to clar­i­fy and see links and rela­tion­ships that weren’t clear from the beginning.

Don’t plan what you are going to think about

Let this be free and com­plete­ly unplanned time, where you have no spe­cif­ic agen­da. Do not decide to reflect on any­thing in par­tic­u­lar and do not make it into an occa­sion dur­ing the week when you skim through your to-do-list, your projects, review what replies from oth­ers your wait­ing for et c. Let it be a com­plete­ly white, blank, emp­ty appoint­ment in the agen­da with yourself.??It won’t be the time dur­ing the week when you get plen­ty of spe­cif­ic tasks done, but it could be the moments which make you work with more ener­gy, focus and joy for the rest of the week’s more intense work­ing hours.

How do you do it?

How do you do to be able to see your busi­ness and your sit­u­a­tion in a big­ger perspective? 

You are most wel­come to leave a com­ment below.