A client mentioned this recently, and I’m guessing some of you can relate:
On a daily basis, I go from task to task, event to event, responding to the world’s demands, reacting to urgencies, emails, and deadlines. I don’t have any “thinking time”… to reflect, to reconnect to my deeper purpose & motivation.
If that describes you, then this post is for you…
Schedule Self-Care First
When I schedule my calendar, self-care comes first.
- Every 1.5 – 2 hours of my working day, I take a 60–90 minute break, which includes a snack if I’m hungry, a dog walk if needed, and a 15-25 minute nap. These breaks allow me to mentally process how I’ve spent my day thus far, and briefly consider the next thing I’m doing. I never work for more than a 2-hour chunk of time.
- Frequent stretch breaks while I’m working, at least every half hour. Moving the body moves the brain. It gives me a chance to do my energy reboot and return to the task more refreshed, often with a clearer perspective.
- 4 times a year I travel to see family (taking a few days off). I schedule no work meetings nor required tasks during those trips. This allows some idle-mind time. Even the traveling itself (commute to airport, the plane ride) is uniquely beneficial for reflection & big-picture thinking.
- Idle-mind time happens every day, yet we seldom use it well. I’ve been renewing my intention to be more purposeful during such times. This could be during bathroom times, showers, doing chores around the house, or walking somewhere. In these times, I reconnect to my faith in how I’m supported by Spirit always, reaffirm my higher values, and recommit to being more mindful during my in-between times.
- In-between times are the few seconds that happen throughout the day when we become conscious that we are doing something. (Most of the day we are in a trance of one sort or another.) When I become aware, I take a breath, and consciously add some love and gratitude to the task at hand.
Keep strong boundaries for self-care, remembering that only with a balanced and renewed self, are we capable of being effective in the world and helping others.
This is why I recommend scheduling your self-care first. Your state is your top priority. From there, everything else can be accomplished and done with higher quality. Get into your higher, beautiful state first.
Ways of doing Reflection Time
Here are some times that you can reserve for reflection:
- Walking to the park
- Puttering around the house
- Going to the cafe to do some journaling
- Having a special long dinner date with just You
- Booking an overnight stay at an airBNB or hotel (personal retreat)
- Going for a long bike ride, bus or car ride and talking with Yourself
- Taking a trip to the lake, ocean, forest, hills, mountain, or the desert
- Plan at least 1 day per month with no appointments, neither work nor social
- Be intentional about your commutes: Reflect, reconnect & free-think
- Be intentional when you travel: don’t schedule work requirements
- Be intentional about your idle-mind time
What would you like to commit to? Intentionality is key.
Schedule it into your calendar / block it off so others can’t demand your time.
Tell anyone who will be affected: co-workers, clients, coach, family and friends. Let them support you in keeping your reflection time sacred.
Questions for Reflection
During the time you’ve set aside for reflection, it’s helpful to be intentional about some of it, rather than only letting your mind wander, which can sometimes be eaten up by negative thoughts.
Here are some questions — pick any one of them — and then after considering the question for a few minutes (talking out loud if it helps), then allow your mind to wander into possible answers…
- What am I here to do?
- What is my Calling?
- How do I best help others?
- How can most effectively contribute to the world?
- What is the higher/deeper purpose of my work/business?
- How is the world changing, and what can I do to adapt?
- What topic or activity gives me energy, even when I’m tired?
- What project would I absolutely love to do?
- If I had 1 year left to live, what project must I do?
- What’s stopping me? And what can I do about that?
- Whom can I ask for help? What shall I say to them?
- What is Universe / Spirit / God saying to me at this time in my life?
- What is the purpose of my life?
- What will motivate me deeply?
Is there another question that you love reflecting on? Comment below.
During or after your reflection time, be sure to capture your thoughts. It can be in a journal, or with your phone’s memo app, or right into your to-do list.
Now it’s your turn: Put this into practice.
The world needs you to be your most renewed and creative self.
If you’ve read this far, your spirit is probably asking you to have more (and better) reflection time…
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