I’m guessing I’m not the only one who feels like this past year absolutely flew by. Lots of travel, big wins at work and home, hustling every day to support the business and my teammates. All while trying to be present at home and supporting kids and social activities.
Reflecting, I did not stop and take a clarity break nearly enough. Yet, I’m excited about the yearly holiday-season slowdown. For me, it’s a chance to intentionally stop the hustle and put intentional effort into identifying the positive things that happened during the past year and how to build on them – then transition into what I can do better in the personal, business and family aspects of life.
Some of us intentionally stop on a regular basis and reflect, while others keep grinding uphill and feel like we are getting nowhere. A clarity break is intentional time to just think. It helps you focus on what is important, what needs to be done and what might be stopping you from moving forward. By utilizing a clarity break, we are intentionally stopping to sharpen the saw, instead of continuing to grind with dull teeth.
I hope for some, reading this serves as a springboard to truly set time aside for a clarity break. Stay off the computer, where emails pop in and distract every five minutes. Put the phone on airplane mode to stop the texts and phone calls, and just sit with a list of questions and reflect.
There are multiple resources to help with this exercise. Below is just one example to get the thoughts rolling. To help put this in perspective, if you have a big project to tackle for a customer, are you just going to show up and get to work, or do you need to plan the work so it can be accomplished safely and efficiently?
Think about the following questions two different ways. What were wins this past year, and what can I do better for next year?
How am I showing up for my family and my kids?
What am I doing for myself: my mental, physical and spiritual health?
Which friends should I connect with more?
What fills my energy meter?
How am I giving back to my community?
What aspects of our business can we develop into growth opportunities?
Where is the low-hanging fruit to generate revenue?
What investment should we make in our team members for their continued development?
What are our customers saying?
Where are we falling short in our customer experience and lifetime customer journey?
How do we improve our brand awareness?
What cost-reducing opportunities should we be exploring?
Great ideas start small and tend to snowball into something much bigger than where they started. Sometimes we just need to take time to start!
Austin Bonnema is vice president of sales with Vermeer Mountain West in Salt Lake City, Utah, a branch of Vermeer Corporation, a 40-year TCIA member company based in Pella, Iowa. He also is a member of the TCIA Board of Directors.