First posted on the WNA website. Thanks Lisa Rubinstein for this fabulous article

Find out how taking time away from the office to just ‘think’, could change your entire business strategy.

The single most important asset a leader or business owner brings to any company is their mind. Once you have moved beyond the level of the ‘doing’ of the business, the quality of your thinking is what determines your worth in an organisation.

But, if your activity doesn’t lead to an immediate, tangible result, you may feel guilty or that you’re wasting company time. Far from it – the shift from the ‘doing’ of a technician, to the ‘coaching’ of a manager and finally the ‘being’ of a leader correlates directly to the value you provide to a company.

However, in today’s hyper-stimulated ADHD world, it can seem nearly impossible to carve out the time for that critical quiet thinking. Particularly if you’ve been in the habit of producing a high volume of ‘doing’ type work.

Settling down into effective quiet contemplation is not something you can fit in between meetings, emails and reports. With each activity that you engage in during the day, your mind and body gears up to a certain level and type of energy intake and output.

What eats into your productivity, and the ability to carve out that important downtime, is not just the amount of interruptions and volume of work you are dealing with, it is the variation of the different types of energy required for each activity.

Notice that if you’ve been rushing around all morning, it takes a bit of focus to settle in to a quiet task. Alternatively, you need to gear yourself up a bit to shift into high speed.

It is easier to group together activities in blocks of time according to the energy output. This way, for instance, you get the busy work done all in one hit and capitalise on the momentum generated.

When it’s time for critical thinking and planning, schedule time away from the office and find a quiet space. Work from home, find a serviced office, sit in a hotel lobby café (which is quieter than your usual street one) or go for a walk near the water or in the park. Anywhere that is going to help you settle your mind and body and allow your thoughts to flow. Shut off all your beeps, bings and dings that will interrupt your thinking and give yourself a break from any and all interruptions.

You’ll find that the time you spend away from the office will result in far richer ideas than those grabbed on the fly.

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