Slow down. Take a moment. Journal.

How many of us have found ourselves struggling with a challenge and seemingly can’t break through to the solution? And at some point we decide to get up and grab a snack or coffee, maybe a bio break, and as we’re walking to our desk the solution just comes to us?

(Doesn’t happen to you? Maybe it’s just me then.)

Regardless, my point is sometimes you just need to walk away. Literally, go think about something completely unrelated. (Like, what kind of snack do I want? Fruit? The clouds are so pretty today. I wonder what happens in the next episode of the TV show I’m watching.) Not only does it provide a mental break, but also gives the body an opportunity to move a bit.

(A engineering friend of mine told me once that his aha moment is when he’s getting ready in the morning before work; called them “shower thoughts.” )

Which leads me to share a semi-related article I came across in the Harvard Business Review, “The More Senior Your Job Title, the More You Need to Keep a Journal.” The author describes the act of journaling as a purposeful exercise of pause and reflect, with strategies for creating meaningful entries. Similar to taking a mental break for a few minutes, the act of reflecting and event playback helps us mentally unpack and revisit scenarios, as well as take learnings from them for later. With information coming at us on all sides 24/7, we aren’t giving our brain the break it may need, making it harder to solve those challenges. And whether we realize it or not, during that walk to the kitchen is we’re giving our gray matter the space it needs

So, do your brain a favor. Take a time out and just give your brain a break. While watching the clouds.

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