The Value of Reflection by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

One thing most business owners and executive leaders have in common is a well-developed work ethic. In fact, they can often be called workaholics. It is this drive and ambition that allows you to do great things. However, working too hard can also get in the way.

Over time, too much work and too little play does more than just make Jack/Jill a dull boy/girl. It makes Jack/Jill less productive and may also reduce their ability to think outside the box.

Not only does working too much tire you, but it also reduces the amount of time you have to really think about things. Your mind and your body get caught in a routine of doing things the same way over and over. This muscle memory keeps you moving, but doesn’t help you recognize when it’s time for a change.

Time away from work not only gives you the chance to rest and recharge your body, but it gives you time to think, as well. As you reflect on your life and your business, you will likely get a new perspective on some things. It’s important to take time away from work regularly, and to do so with intention.

During your time away, plan to reflect on your business. It’s wise, in fact, to make a list (at least mentally) of two or three things you want to think about during a long weekend or a vacation. Keep the list short and simple, and don’t schedule the rest of your activities around it. If you let yourself relax, the subjects you need to reflect on will probably pop into your head at just the right time.

You see, it’s much easier to come up with a great marketing idea over a glass of wine on the patio sometimes than in an all-day strategy meeting. Quite literally, during the meeting, you’re trying too hard. When you take the pressure off and let your mind wander at its own pace, brilliance can happen in a flash!

Some of the best business decisions ever made took place on a boat on the lake, lying by the pool, or during a mountain hike. Never feel guilty about taking time away from work to relax and to think – it can be the greatest unplanned strategy session ever.

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