Choose the White Room Over the Padded Room
High performance requires rest. It’s better to create a rhythm of rest than be forced into it by personal crisis.
The best thing you can do for your leadership is create daily rhythms of rest and reflection.
Three minutes of rest:
Rushing from one issue to the next results in fatigue and frustration. Fatigue steals your potential.
You’re never at your best when you’re exhausted.
Disengage before you re-engage.
Take three or four minutes after completing a task to prepare for the next pressing responsibility. Try closing the door to your office or taking a short walk. One person I know, closes the door and turns off the lights.
Set a timer for three minutes and just breathe deeply. Frankly, I get distracted at least two or three times in three minutes. Doing this imperfectly is better than not doing it at all.
“Stop doing” three or four times a day.
The white room:
You feel agitated because you’re focusing on several things at once.
Clear your mind to create focus.
Focus enables you to bring your best self to the current moment. Unfocused leaders always fall below their potential.
Find focus by clearing your mind of distractions. I refocus by imagining a bright white room with a white chair sitting vacant in the middle. I’m prepared for the next task after three or four minutes in the white room.
If you don’t visit the white room, you may end up in a padded room.
Note: It doesn’t matter if you imagine a white room or a waterfall. You’ll be a better leader when you find brief daily rhythms of rest and reflection.
What might leaders do to create rhythms of rest and reflection?