Saturday, January 25, 2014

Taking Time To Rest and Reflect

When someone asks you how you're doing, how do you answer? If you're like me, or many other Americans, a variation of "good" or "busy" is your stock answer. That's an interesting answer when you think about it. In America today, Inbox Zero is treated as some kind of a mythical animal, work/life balance is an actual discussion, and having enough time to relax each day is a privilege reserved for the rich (or you earn the lazy tag).
ImageRest and reflection are integral to maintaining a healthy perspective. They allow you to take a step back and see not just the larger picture, but how all the pieces fit together and form its shape. This philosophy applies to every segment of life; professional and personal. There's a few areas I'd like you to take advantage of the next time you take a step back.
  1. Dive Into Your Analytics - Don't do your day-to-day number crunching. Allow yourself to take a step back and see how the dots connect. When you scour those numbers day after day looking for that piece of data that puts everything into place you will likely miss it. Ever notice how your keys appear when you take a moment to collect your thoughts? The same thing happens more than you realize if you simply take a step back.
  2. Think About Your Thoughts - No, I'm not asking you pull a White Goodman and bleed your own blood. Groupthink is a real and, in my personal opinion, dangerous thing. That's not to say that consensus isn't a desirable outcome. It is to say that too often we develop a herd mentality. We take the easy way out when taking a stance on a topic. Even if you take the popular stance, decide for yourself why you have taken that position. When you understand your own thought process it clarifies why you believe what you believe, which can be incredibly valuable.
  3. Relax - There's no insight to be had here. Treat yo self. We spend so much time buried in work and other responsibilities that we don't take time for ourselves. Vacations are important, yes. I'm talking about that daily time to just sit back and kick your feet up. You'll feel better, and when you feel better you'll perform better when your responsibilities resume.
There's a reason the people around you depend on you. If you're not at the top of your game, you won't be doing any good for anyone; especially yourself. Rest and reflect. Gain a new perspective. You'll be glad you did.

Photo: tanakawho via Flickr CC 2.0

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