As we gear up for a new year, it’s natural to reflect on the previous. What did you accomplish? What were some of your biggest challenges? What moments stand out? This type of reflection helps us process what’s happened and reset for what’s next. I find it’s an especially helpful process to clear my head and focus on what matters when life feels too busy or overwhelming.
Of course, the busier we are, the harder it can be to carve out moments for reflection– and the more we really need this time! In 2022, let’s change that. Even with a packed schedule, I try to find the “hidden moments” in my day to refocus, recharge and reconnect. Here’s how I’ve made it a daily habit.
Refocus: Mapping Out Your Day
Every morning, I set aside a few minutes to think through my day, center myself and prepare. The goal of mapping out your day is twofold: You can see what you have on your plate, but you’re also giving yourself the opportunity to add mini breaks to your calendar.
At Lucas Group, we use Microsoft Bookings to manage our availability. If I have a big morning meeting, I’ll add a short break after so I can have a moment to reset for what’s next. If there’s a major search deadline coming up, I add time midday to be sure I pause for a quick workout to energize my body and my mind.
Recharge: Taking a Midday Movement Break
I know there are some days where I’ll have to work longer than others. There may be meetings that people can only take later in the day, or I’m finishing up a higher-level search that needs some extra TLC.
If you’re still working remotely, the mornings can blend right into the afternoon without a proper break. That’s why I try to set time every day for movement. This might be taking a virtual workout class or going to the gym. It could be getting out for a walk or even running a quick errand. What’s important is that I’m stepping away from the screen, putting down my phone and giving my mind a mental reset.
Reconnect: Find Your De-Stressor
How we transition from the workday to our personal life impacts our ability to relax and reconnect. For me, I listen to my stomach. When it says it’s time to eat, I don’t ignore it. Luckily, I’ve always enjoyed cooking. It relaxes me and helps me unwind after a busy day. There’s nothing quite as nice as the savory smells of my favorite dish being prepared. I’ll throw some country music on in the kitchen and find my second wind cooking up something delicious.
Not a fan of cooking? Not a problem– there are plenty of great activities that can help you destress after the workday and reconnect with yourself.
Some of my colleagues enjoy evening yoga or meditation, playing with their kids, or listening to an audiobook on their nightly commute. By doing something unrelated to work, you’re putting up a mental barrier to the workday, and giving your body and mind time to wind down.
Letting Go of the Need to Be Constantly Busy
As a society, there’s pressure to be always on and constantly available. But in order to do truly meaningful work, we need time to refocus, recharge and reconnect. No matter how full my day is, I strive to always carve out a “hidden moment” here or there –– and I challenge you to do the same in 2022.