It is very difficult to unplug today.  There are so many messages coming at us that is almost impossible to find quiet time for reflection and planning.  We have computers, cell phones, tablets, smart watches, and the list goes on.  It is exhausting to keep up with all these devices let alone all the platforms that are on each one. 

Some leaders take all their electronic devices on vacation.  They are answering calls and emails, doing projects and more.  In reality, they are not on vacation, they are simply working remotely.  Leaders often feel like they can’t relax but need to be available every minute of every day.  This is a myth that keeps leaders from doing the most important work which includes solitude. 

Solitude is a means to free our minds to explore, to think creatively, and to plan for the future.  This time is essential for strong leaders to consider how to navigate challenges, maximize resources, and impact their team members.  Solitude also reduces the stress we experience and creates an internal calm to work through the chaos of life. Solitude re-energizes leaders and gives clarity of purpose and direction. 

When you fill your calendar with non-stop meetings, you cannot find solitude and quiet your thoughts. We often feel that we need to take a full day to reenergize or plan.  However, even one hour of scheduled downtime can make such a difference and prepare us for the week, month, or year.  Just one hour each week can have a huge impact on our work and the goals we are striving to reach.  

Make it a priority to find a regular time to get away, a space in which to reflect, and consider what could be.  Resist the temptation to be on the go continuously and prepare your mind to lead by finding those moments of quiet and reflection.