Talent Development Centre

Take a Breather, Take Account

Morley Surcon By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President, Western Canada at Eagle

To-do listI like to do lists.  I like to measure my progress.  And I especially enjoy crossing out tasks that get done.  Besides forcing me to be organized, building a proper to do list forces me to slow down for a few minutes to think and reflect on projects and priorities.

It is easy to fall into the habit of just doing — being reactive — and, in this way, remaining busy.  But busy does not directly translate into productive. A few minutes set aside without interruption provides an opportunity to get a handle on what’s really important.

This appears to be self-evident, certainly not rocket science; but I am surprised at how few people do this regularly.  Even I, who am sold on this practice, sometimes struggle to make the time for this.  A quiet space in which to be alone with your own thoughts is a rarity these days and needs to be sought out, the time planned for.

Sherlock Holmes had his “Sanctum Santorum”, Superman his “Fortress of Solitude” – whatever you call it, it is necessary to have the place/space where you can go to do some deep thinking, even if it is just a back corner table at your local Starbucks. Most times it doesn’t need to be more than sitting down for a few minutes with a pen and a notebook.  Bill Gates, however, is famous for his yearly retreat used to decompress and complete some long-term strategy and planning.

Have a look at some of these past posts in the Talent Development Centre for a few extra tips and tools:

If you’d like a tool specifically for your iPhone or Android device, check out one of these two articles:

What works best for you? I encourage you to share any tips or tricks you use to remain on task and productive.  Please share by commenting on this post.

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