“On a daily basis, I go from task to task, event to event, responding to the world’s demands, reacting to urgencies, emails, and deadlines. I don’t have any ‘thinking time’… to reflect, to reconnect to my deeper purpose & motivation.” — a reader wrote.
If that describes you, then this post is for you…
Schedule Self-Care First
When I schedule my calendar, self-care comes first:
- Several times in each workday, I take a 60–90 minute break, which can include a snack, dog walk, and always, a 15–20 minute nap. These breaks allow me to mentally process how I’ve spent my day thus far, and briefly consider the next thing I’m doing. I never work for more than a 2-hour chunk of time.
- Frequent stretch breaks while I’m working, at least every half hour. Moving the body moves the brain. It gives me a chance to do my energy reboot and return to the task more refreshed, with a clearer perspective.
- 4 times a year I travel to see family, taking a few days off — except during pandemics! During these week-long breaks, I schedule no work meetings nor required tasks. This allows idle-mind time. Even the traveling itself (commute to airport, the plane ride) is uniquely beneficial for reflection & big-picture thinking.
Keep strong boundaries for self-care, remembering that only with a balanced and renewed self, are we capable of being effective in our lives and in helping others.
Your state is your top priority. From there, everything else can be accomplished and done with higher quality. Get into your beautiful state of being first.
Ways of doing Reflection Time
Here are some times that you can reserve for reflection:
- Puttering around the house
- Walking around the neighborhood
- Having a special long dinner date with You
- Booking an overnight stay at an airBNB or hotel (personal retreat)
- Going for a long bike ride, bus or car ride and talking with Yourself
- Taking a trip to the lake, ocean, forest, hills, mountain, or the desert
- Plan at least 1 day per month with no appointments, neither work nor social
- Be intentional about your commutes: Reflect, reconnect & free-think
- Be intentional when you travel: don’t schedule work requirements
- (Do you have another activity/time that helps you to reflect?)
What would you like to commit to? Intentionality is key.
Schedule it into your calendar / block it off so others can’t demand your time.
Tell anyone who will be affected: co-workers, clients, coach, family and friends. Let them support you in keeping your reflection time sacred.
Questions for Reflection
Be intentional about the time you’ve set aside for reflection, rather than just letting your mind wander, which can sometimes be eaten up by negative thoughts.
Here are some questions — pick any one of them. After considering that question for a few minutes (talking out loud if it helps), be silent and allow your mind to wander into possible answers…
- What am I here to do?
- What is my Calling?
- How do I best help others?
- What is the higher purpose of my work?
- How can I most effectively contribute to the world?
- How is the world changing, and what can I do to adapt?
- What topic do I love talking about, even when I’m tired?
- What kind of person can I best help?
- What project would I absolutely love to do?
- If I had 1 year left to live, what project must I do?
- What’s stopping me? And what can I do about that?
- Whom can I ask for help? What shall I say to them?
- What is Universe / Spirit / God saying to me at this time in my life?
- What is the purpose of my life?
- What will energize me deeply?
(Is there another question that you love reflecting on? Comment below.)
During or after your reflection time, be sure to capture your thoughts. It can be in a journal, or with your phone’s memo app.
Now it’s your turn: Put this into practice!
The world needs you to be your most renewed and creative self.
If you’ve read this far, your spirit is probably asking you to have more (and better) reflection time…