Another day, another task list. It can be relentless and overwhelming when each day seems like the day before.
I find it hard to work hard continually when I lack perspective. Work, for me, has to have meaning towards something larger. If you find yourself grinding it out each day, my encouragement is to step back and gain perspective to refresh your motivation and know where you are headed. Here are some things I like to do that may be helpful to you as well:
- Work your lungs. Getting away for a run, bike ride, swim or tennis can give your mind a break. Knowledge workers are constantly thinking and engaged in focused work. Working out hard and getting away from it all helps me to focus on something entirely different and give my mind a break. In the midst of it all, my subconscious gets to work and new ways of thinking about current or old problems arise. If you can make this a daily 20 minute ritual, it can help you not only get refreshed, but refocused.
- Drink tea. Tea slows me down. I can just sit somewhere peaceful and finish a cup just appreciating my environment, whether in a coffee shop or outdoors on a patio somewhere. Detaching this way helps me to enjoy life and slow down. Typically, my problems look smaller and I can see things differently. It’s a new perspective with health benefits.
- Socialize live. Having a meal with a trusted friend or advisor opens up discussion and thought. I can bounce off new ideas and listen to feedback. It helps to crystallize my thinking and test my assumptions. Being face-to-face and thinking together with someone is both energizing and restorative.
- Read for an hour. Getting lost in someone else’s thoughts in a good book reframes life. I love a great book and thinking about something that is unrelated to my own problems. When I get to the issues specific to me, I find I have a whole new mind to see ways to solve problems I did not previously.
When we are productive, especially working through lists, it narrows our focus. This is necessary for getting things done, however, I think it’s good for the long run to always repoint our compass and look at the horizon by opening up our thinking. Detaching is just as productive as working in the grind. These are some of the things I like to do.
How about you? What kind of ways do you detach?