We all know how important it is to take a break occasionally to recharge the batteries. Craig has a few handy tips on why taking time out to think about stuff is more than important, it’s vital!
Q. Why does taking a break matter so much to you?
I treat taking a break as one of the most important elements in my life. It’s as important to me as breathing, because without it I know I don’t operate effectively. Without a break I feel chaotic and I can create chaos around me.
Q. So you have 5 mins… what do you do with it?
I recognise that unless I stop, take a step back and reflect on where I’m going, I never know where I am. For me personally, 5 minutes a day of just doing nothing except thinking about my thinking (which is usually accompanied by music), feels like the equivalent of that first sip of gin (or whatever your tipple is) on a Friday night, after a long week at work.
It’s about asking myself questions and listening to what’s going on inside my head (which can be scary sometimes). Ironically, it’s when I’m at my busiest, and when other people’s natural response might be; ‘I haven’t got time to think’, that I know my route to calmness is to create time to think.
Q. What happens if you’re just too busy to take time out?
I fundamentally choose to believe that no-one is ever too busy to take time out, even if just 5 minutes. Generals, when in war, don’t just jump over the hill and go into battle. Even they, when life is threatened, take time to stop, think and plan.
Q. What’s the easiest way to find the time?
Recognise your triggers. What are your triggers that ‘tell you’ that you need to stop and put the brakes on? For me it’s when I feel I haven’t got time to look up from what I’m doing, to see what’s going on around me. When I feel like that, I recognise I have to force myself to stop and slow down my thinking, which sometimes (editor’s note… often!!) results in me causing mischief around me. However, it’s one of my strategies for regaining clarity of thinking, direction and application. I offer others coaching and apologise for disturbing people. I’m only human and we all have different ways of gaining our energy. Please note I don’t deliberately go out of my way to create mischief… however sometimes it’s great fun!
Q. What’s the best use of this time once you’ve found it?
That depends on the individual. For me it’s changing the environment and maybe talking to someone about them and not work. It’s listening to music or searching the web for a new drum.
Q. How do you help others find the time to think?
Look for your triggers. When you feel at your busiest and the hours seem to be whizzing by in your day, but yet the work you need to achieve seems to be slipping further away… stop. Clear your mind. Force yourself to think about something that will make you smile. Take a deep breath and ask yourself:
• what am I achieving right now?
• where is what I’m doing taking me?
• what do I need to do next?
• when’s my next time to think?
There isn’t a rule as to how often you take a break. It’s as often as you need it. Whether that be hourly, daily or just weekly. For me it’s a minimum of every day.
Fascinating Craig, thank you. I think I need to pause for thought for 5 minutes to savour these nuggets of advice.
Do you find the time to take a break and what do you do with it?