“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates

Life seems to move at the speed of light, and most leaders don’t feel they have the luxury of stepping back to reflect. Yes, you may do a project debrief when you finish a chunk of work. But when was the last time you took the time to reflect on your organization or your leadership as a whole?

The downside of examining our work in bits and pieces is that we don’t see patterns of thinking, behavior and results. We miss the interconnections between the success of Project A with the missteps with Client B.

How do you focus on the bigger picture without the luxury of lots of time?

Journal. I used to dismiss the benefits of journaling, until I tried it. I know I struggle with doing something every day, so I don’t hold myself to that rigid standard. Regular journaling, however, has helped me see connections that I would have otherwise missed. I recognized patterns in my behavior that worked and some that didn’t. I also was able to see progress over time by re-reading entries from months earlier. Quite motivating!

Use words and pictures. While I tend to be a word person, I find that visualizing problems and solutions in pictures unleashes new thinking and insights. It isn’t easy for me, and that is why the payoff is so great.

Get away. A change of space often frees the mind. Even something as simple as relocating to the coffee shop for 20 minutes can unleash your creativity. Just stay focused on asking your “why?” questions, rather than chatting with your fellow caffeine imbibers.

You don’t have to escape to a mountain retreat to find some space for contemplation. Turn off your media for ten minutes and tune into the big picture. You may be amazed at what your “examined life” produces.

Want some help discovering connections and patterns? Contact Humanergy.

Picture from stock.xchng