I have a confession to make. I am terrible at relaxation and reflection. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good vacation that involves nothing more than sipping a cocktail on the beach. But, in my business life I seem to never make time for it.
I am a girl that likes to be moving around. If I take a break from working during the day, it’s usually to clean the kitchen or put in laundry. I’ll be the first to admit that until I incorporated ‘Closing Bell’ I wasn’t reflecting on anything in my day. (read more about Closing Bell here)
After I did a few weeks of it, I realized 15 mins a day was small potatoes. What does it matter if I reflect on the day if I am never making time for the big stuff?
What is bothering me with my business? Where am I wasting time? How can I improve my process? What products and services bring me the most joy? Who do I really want to help? Where do I want my company to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?
Be honest, are you taking time to reflect on YOUR big picture? Probably not, right? And even if you are.. Probably not regularly..
Don’t worry, this happens to ALL OF US. The day-to-day hustle and bustle can make the hours move fast and spending the last month ‘inside’ has been good for me and my business because it has required me to reflect in a big way.
I have found the only way for me to do this past quarantine is a forced moment where my brain can semi shut off. For me, it’s really about giving myself the space I need to think about the big ideas I have. The key is allowing yourself and your mind to wander.
But, reflection can come in many forms. Some do this by journaling, praying or practicing yoga. Some go on a retreat or take a hike with the family once a month. These are all incredible steps to self-growth, but as business owners we need to learn how to incorporate reflection into our daily or weekly lives FOR OUR BUSINESS.
How often do you have a problem in your business, but never really get to take the mental time to solve it?
For me. my reflection time comes in the form of running. I have gotten a little out of shape since marriage and the breathing alone allows me to concentrate on nothing more than putting once foot in front of the other. It clears my head. By the time I walk back into my house my brain is bursting with ideas.
Let’s put it this way. I can tell the weeks I don’t do it. After a run I always feel focused and recharged. And honestly, my business NEEDS this time.
The past few weeks, I have spoken to you about creating your perfect day and building a calendar that yields success and I have found that incorporating time for big picture reflection is part of it.
So, how do we figure out what action is right for your reflection time?
A couple of keys that I have found are necessary for me and might help you:
1. Get away from a screen. You can still listen to a book on tape, or some nice music, but the screen is just the devil. According to CBS News, eyestrain from hours of screen time can result in eye irritation, dryness, fatigue or blurred vision. Who knows what it’s doing to your brain… So, get away. Outside or inside doesn’t matter, but don’t allow the distraction.
2. Engage in some sort of physical activity. This can include all sorts of things. I love to garden, but knitting, lifting weights, baking a cake all work fine. Whatever keeps your hands busy and allows your brain to explore. I recommend doing an activity that you know like the back of your hand. Think: Muscle Memory. An example: My husband plays the guitar beautifully and has done so since he was 18. At this point, his hands move without his mind even thinking about where they go next. This allows his brain to open up, feel engaged and think through the big problems.
Sounds nice, huh? So, here’s the catch. You have to force this into your weekly schedule. I say the nice things about muscle memory and guitar in hopes that doing something you love will lead you to do it more often. But, the truth is sometimes you just gotta force it.
Do I always want to go for a run? Absolutely not… Do I really need it? Sadly, yes.
The past two weeks I have talked to you about creating your perfect life and crafting a schedule to help you get there, but neither of these would be possible without a bit of big picture reflection.
Think of it like a gut check for your business. Are you going the direction you want to? If the answer is no, we need to fix it.
Stay tuned because we are going to focus on this in a big way. Each month we focus our blogs and social media on a new topic and next month is gonna be all about your mid year gut check.
Believe it or not, it’s June. We are almost halfway through this crazy year and it’s time to think about our goals in a big way.
We will be taking questions, comments and concerns for discussion. So, what do you want to ‘check in’ on in your business? Write in the comments below and stay tuned for info coming in June!