Schedule downtime, and maintain it.
Lifelong learners and coaching clients have their set rituals – their effective tactics to make the most of their time. Examples include:
Waking up early
Practicing daily gratitude
Writing a task list
Marking the top three tasks for the day
Those are all the foundations for a productive day.
I'm sure everyone agrees that getting more time in your day is a worthy goal to achieve. Who among us could not use an extra hour to knock off more tasks from the list, hit the gym, or participate in a family activity? Maybe even give back to the community with volunteer work.
How can business leaders get more time back in their day?
The answer is to assign "downtime" within their day's structure.
Downtime can be described as the moments in which we step away from our crazy schedule of tasks, emails, calls, and meetings to daydream — and this is where innovation starts. It is time we set aside to visualize our future goals. It's time to rest our brains from the insane stimulation into which technology has submerged us. Downtime is when we can work on our lives, not in our lives, just as we spend time on our business rather than in our business.
Pink Floyd created an album that has sold more than 45 million copies. This critically acclaimed work, which has been awarded a spot in the Library of Congress, centers around losing time. It is not by accident that the work segues from the tracks "Time" into "Breathe." This is when the listener can sit back and feel how the simplicity of spaces in the music (downtime) settles the anxiety of time into a relaxing breath. The music score relies on the downtime (or blank spaces) to accent the importance of nothing. Business leaders need these spaces and moments of nothing to accent their use of time.
Downtime supports your ability to create and innovate ways to pivot your time accordingly while at the same time altering activities that are not generating your desired results.