June 18

A leader I admire once explained the most important ritual in his day. He said that he gets out of bed, grabs a cup of coffee, then makes his way to the chair in his living room. Then he sits down and zones out. (When he was telling this story, he exhibited an almost confused, dazed look.) He simply sits there for twenty minutes or so with no agenda. He allows his mind to wander. Sometimes he’ll think of a person on his team, and he’ll make a quick note to reach out to them. Sometimes he’ll have a flash of insight about a project, and he’ll jot it down and go back to spacing out. The point of the entire exercise is to simply sit, allow his mind to wander, and pay attention to whatever happens in those quiet moments.

I’ve adopted this method over the years, and some of my best ideas have emerged from it. In the hustle of the day, there is so much noise in my mind that I often can’t hear the quiet whisper of insight trying to break through. When I take a strategic pause to empty my mind, those whispers become crystal clear. You discover what’s really on your mind, which is often nothing like what occupies your executive brain through- out the day.

To see things more clearly, take a strategic pause and clear your mind.


When might you schedule a strategic pause in your day to allow your mind to wander?

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