Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re in the U.S., I wanted to wish you and yours a great holiday break before any more Black Friday offers hit your inbox 😉
Have you ever heard of a clarity break? Of all the productivity tips and strategies I’ve learned over years, clarity breaks are the absolute best. This simple practice is far and away the best thing I’ve done to grow both personally and professionally.
What Is A Clarity Break?
So, what the heck is a clarity break and how does it work? A clarity break is a chance to free yourself from being tired, overwhelmed, and too busy to think about your future. This wonderful concept is from Gino Wickman, author of the book Traction.
The process is pretty simple. Grab a paper and pen. You could get all fancy with an expensive hardbound notebook, but honestly a paper and pen is all you need.
Next, you need about 40 minutes to an hour of honest-to-goodness quiet time. It’s super-important to be away from the computer and people for this exercise. No phones, no internet. No kids. Turn everything off and shut the door. Really.
A Time For You
As one of my mentors put it, this time is “sacred”. A time for you to clear your mind and focus on the most important things that need your attention. I usually start off making quick list of worries or concerns – stuff that’s been rattling around my brain causing distractions.
Getting those issues out of my head and on to the page usually takes just 5-10 minutes and frees me up to focus on the truly important stuff – things that can move my life and business forward.
From there I review any wins or losses from the last week, do a bit of journaling to assess where I am with my goals, and plan out the next two to four weeks. As I do this I’ll often identify things I forgot that need prompt attention before they become urgent. It’s incredibly helpful!
About two years ago, right around Thanksgiving I started doing weekly clarity breaks every Friday. I put a calendar reminder in my phone and made a weekly commitment to stick to it.
It’s About Consistency and Commitment
Some people do clarity breaks more often for shorter intervals, while others do longer sessions once a month. Whatever your schedule, consistency and focused attention will yield amazing results over time. When I do clarity breaks consistently, I’m much more relaxed and don’t seem to fall into “urgent” mode very often.
I recently introduced a colleague to clarity breaks while attending a conference. He tried it for the first time last week and posted this on Facebook (used with permission):
“WOW – just spent about 40 mins. dumping stuff out of my brain onto the pages. Really can’t believe how much junk was in there. Lots of To Dos and other stuff came out, but at least they’re out of my head now and I’m already taking action on them.”
I think that what’s most valuable about clarity breaks – actually taking the time to stop and get all that stuff out of your head so you can truly move forward. It’s an amazing tool to help you figure out what’s really worth your time.
What do you need the most clarity on in 2018?
Here’s some ideas:
Set aside some quiet time this week, shut the world off for a while and get clear on what really matters to you. Let me know how it goes!
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