A client mentioned this recently, and I’m guessing many of you can relate:
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.
If that describes you, then this post is for you.
Schedule Self-Care First
When I schedule my calendar, self-care comes first. Rest, renewal, reflection:
- Saturdays are completely empty of appointments, business or social. No errands either. (I do personal errands on Sundays and the occasional Friday off.) The intention for my Saturdays is reflection, reconnection, thinking bigger & deeper thoughts. No requirements. Free to roam, physically and mentally.
- Every 2–3 hours of my working day I take a 60–90 minute break: 10am nap & quick dog walk. 1pm lunch & nap. 4pm longer dog walk, snack and nap. These breaks allow me to mentally process how I’ve spent my day thus far, and consider the next project or appointment.
- 4 times a year I travel to see family (twice for short trips of 2 days, twice for 1 week each.) Here’s the key: I schedule no work meetings nor required tasks during those trips. This allows plenty of idle-mind time (I’ll describe that next.) Even the traveling itself (commute to airport, the plane ride, the commute to family’s home) is uniquely beneficial for reflection & free thinking.
- Idle-mind time happens every day, for every one of us, yet we seldom use it well. I’ve been renewing my intention to be more purposeful during such times. See here: www.GeorgeKao.com/Blog/APLUSbreathing
When the above are kept sacred, I have plenty of reflection time.
That’s the key, isn’t it?
Keep strong boundaries for self-care, remembering that only with a balanced and renewed self, are we capable of helping others and being effective in the world.
This is why I recommend scheduling your self-care first. Your state is your top priority. From there, everything else can be accomplished and done with higher quality. Get into your higher, beautiful state first.
Do it for Your Creativity.
Besides the importance for your renewed emotional/mental state, scheduling “reflection time” is also necessary for reconnecting to your higher purpose and deeper creativity.
If you are only reacting to the world, then your creativity and purpose is defined by others.
If you allow enough spaciousness to reflect on your own, to think weird and wild thoughts, or even no thoughts or useless thoughts, you then allow your mind & heart to reach new heights and more profound depths.
You can then return to your everyday work with a new perspective. You’ll almost certainly produce more unique work.
You’ll bring forth creative output that is more You.
Ways of doing Reflection Time
Here are some ideas for how to do reflection time:
- Walking to the park
- Puttering around the house
- Going to the cafe to do some journaling
- Having a special long dinner date with just You
- Booking a 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 1 day a month (ideally: weekly) of no appointments work or social
- Being intentional about your commutes: Reflect, reconnect & free-think
- Being intentional when you travel: don’t schedule work requirements
- Being intentional about your idle-mind time
What other ideas for reflection time do you have? Comment below.
And: What would you like to commit to?
The key is intentionality.
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) so that they can support you in keeping this important boundary.
Questions for Reflection
During the time you’ve set aside for reflection, it’s important to be intentional about it, rather than just letting your mind only wander into random and possibly negative thoughts.
Here are some questions — just pick any one of them for each reflection time — and then after considering the question for a minutes (you can even talk out loud if it helps), then you can allow your mind to wander into possible answers…
- What am I here to do?
- What is my Calling?
- How can most effectively contribute to the world?
- How do I best help others?
- What is the higher/deeper purpose of my work/business?
- How is the world changing, and what can I do to adapt?
- What project would I absolutely love to do, while I’m still here?
- If I had 1 year left to live, what project must I do?
- What is Universe / Spirit / God saying to me at this time in my life?
- What is the purpose of my life?
- What will motivate 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 voice memo app, or right into your to-do list.
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 life is likely calling for you to have more (or better) reflection time…
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