Did you ever hear the story about the Fortune 500 CEO who skipped his Clarity Break™? The next day, he was so frazzled, and so unable to continue building his sinking company, that he filed for bankruptcy, moved to the Bahamas, and was never heard from again.
Okay, so you’ve probably never heard this story because it didn’t actually happen. I’m being a little over-dramatic here, because the world will not actually end, and your business won’t immediately tank if you skip this post about Clarity Breaks. However, the drama is a little bit necessary to emphasize that taking Clarity Breaks isn’t an optional convenience: It’s critical to the health of your business.
Let’s back this train up. What is a Clarity Break?
A Clarity Break, a feature of the EOS® process, is a great opportunity for a leader of an organization to step away from their day-to-day responsibility, escape the noise, and recapture their thoughts. As EOS Worldwide defines it: “A Clarity Break is a regularly scheduled appointment on your calendar with yourself to work on your business. Clarity Breaks allow you to clear your head, envision the future, think strategically, and focus on what’s most important.” These are crucial, particularly for leaders responsible for growing and driving a business according to a specific vision.
However, the leaders who need Clarity Breaks the most are the same ones most likely to say, “I’m too busy to do that!” In practical terms, here’s how you make this Clarity Break actually happen:
- Prioritize. Just like you prioritize the time to take your kids to school, or check emails, or make phone calls, prioritizing the time to sit quietly without technology and think about your business could be one of the most important things you do for the longevity and efficiency of your business. Making Clarity Breaks a priority will pay off five fold when you step back into the world of your business with renewed energy, clarity, and motivation.
- Find what works for you. Everybody has a different way to take a clarity break. Sometimes people get up and go for a walk; others sit down with a yellow notepad and a pencil and an empty room to let the ideas flow. Others visit a coffee shop where nobody knows them, and they can be away from the distractions of a business environment. Maybe you’ll stay in your office, but turn on background music without lyrics that allows your brain to become inspired. Figure out where you can truly escape distraction and focus on working on your business, not in it.
- Disconnect. In pre-technology days where executives and leaders weren’t connected by phone and email 24/7, it was possible to escape from the pressures of day-to-day business life. If you didn’t have a cell phone, nobody could use it to call you on your commute. Today, especially for leaders, we are tethered to our businesses constantly. This makes it all the more important to spend the Clarity Break time focusing on yourself, not reacting to everything else that’s pulling on you. By turning off communication, you can create new ideas instead of creating responses to outside influences. Use the “Do not Disturb” feature if you can’t bear to turn it off; otherwise, try to leave all devices in another room entirely.
Even if taking a break to work on the business seems impossible, remember that you owe it to your organization to create your vision for the future. If you don’t take the break, you’ll never give yourself the space to rise above minutiae and think and dream big. Will you go bankrupt if you skip Clarity Breaks? Probably not, but you might eventually become stagnant, dragged down by external pressure. And frankly, the slow decline might be an even worse fate.
If you need to spend more time working on your business, give me a call anytime. I’m a crossword-puzzle, Clarity Break kind of guy, but I know how to help you and your organization find the time to build towards the future. Call or email anytime, no strings attached.