There was a global leader who went to see a wise old woman in the Himalayas, and he said to her ‘Momma G,’ which is obviously a respectful term. ‘Momma G, I’m very, very busy. What can I do to have more peace in my life?? To be less busy?’ And she said to him, ‘Well, I think you should meditate for 20 minutes a day.’ And he responded, ‘No, no, Momma G, you don’t understand. I’m very, very busy. I have lots of things to do, lots of responsibilities. People expect a lot of me. I couldn’t spend 20 minutes reflecting.’ Then she responded, ‘Ah, if that’s the case, then you need to reflect for at least an hour a day.’
The point of the story is that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to be creative and to think of new ideas when you’re constantly busy. Now, if you’re a type A personality who loves being on the go and always doing things, my question to you is where’s the space for you to think about what’s kind of happening?
It’s really important as a global leader, to allow time to reflect, to think, to plan, to be creative. I do a lot of flying, and I love being in a plane because I do a lot of good thinking in planes. There are times I work and other times I relax and watch movies, but I find that being uncontactable is a really wonderful thing. Of course, all that is changing now because they’re putting Wifi on planes. However, it’s about creating space. You need to allocate some time. I have suggested to many of my coaching clients to allocate time in the diary where they are not disturbed.
It may be something that you can do on a daily basis when you come into your office or when you start work. You say, I have some quiet time which allows me to prepare for the day. But for most of us that day starts when we’re up, we’re doing a quick check of emails. Or it may be a more scheduled time during the week where you actually create space for yourself. It may just be to think or sometimes for some people it’s actually just to do something for themselves. To go for a walk, catch a movie.
During that time of reflection, it’s also useful to spend some time meditating, and if you are struggling with meditating, there’s lots of Apps you can get now to help you do that.
You may do something like keep a journal, or you may read some inspirational books. Because as a leader, one of the things you need to be constantly contemplating is – who feeds you, right? Who leads the leader? Where are you getting your inspiration from? Where are you getting your ideas from? Who’s challenging your thinking? Who’s provoking your thinking? How are you being more strategic? How are you able to look into the future and think through? I wonder where the market is going to be in 12, 18 months, 24 months. Who do I need to promote and develop? What are some of the things I need to put into place? These are all things that only come into your head when you allow time.
Here’s my reflection point for you. How much time are you allocating for yourself? Do you have a schedule where you allow time just for yourself to think? Do you have time that you allow yourself just to be by yourself? And if you’re not doing that, then start doing it now because you’ll find that you will be more effective. As Momma G advised, the more time you have to think and reflect, the more successful you will be.