5 for 5 blog – Clearing your mind

29 Feb


It was nearly 60 degrees today. And for the first time in awhile, I got a chance to get outside, without having to shovel.

So, I took my dog, Mr. Bingley (pictured above), on our usual trek around the block. All in, it is about ½ a mile walk that takes about 25-30 minutes depending on Mr. B’s disposition and it is often the most relaxing 30 minutes of my day. In fact for a 7-8 months of the year, this is a regular occurrence for my furry partner and myself……he gets to stretch his legs and do some business and I get a mental reboot the cache of information rattling around in my brain.

Unfortunately, despite reading many blogs and listening to podcasts on mindfulness and meditation, I have to admit this is the closest I get on a regular basis to being focused and clear of mind. And while I will continue to develop a mindfulness practice, as I looked back, refreshed, after my walk, here are a few things that make this activity perfect for me:

  • I am disconnected – While I am carrying a phone, just in case, most walks are more like being dragged or at a brisk pace to say the least. Needless to say, I don’t have time or strength to check my phone and keep Mr. B on track.
  • I am fully engaged – While Mr. B is a lovable, sweet golden retriever, I realize that not everyone my think that. So I watch carefully for runner, walkers, and especially children. There is also a need to keep an eye out for other dogs because again while Bingley is goofy and typically oblivious
  • I am alone– I am an introvert. The act of steeping away from electronics and out into the fresh air on my own for a period of time, is incredibly rejuvenating for me.

Whatever your reasons or methods are for decluttering your head, I hope you are making time for that. As leaders, our teams need us to be clear minded, to be excellent at task switching, and resilient to challenges. We need mechanisms and methods that allow us to reboot and focus as we make a difference in our organizations.

Question: When you reach a point of cognitive overload, what do you do to clear your mind?

Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

Why Creative People Are Rarely Seen as Leaders – by Susan Cain – via QuietRev.com

40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative – by Summer Anne Barton – via BuzzFeed

Over-compensate to compensate – by Derek Sivers – via sivers.org

How to Listen Like a Leader – by Douglas Conent – via LinkedIn

My Life is Just Starting at 40, and I’m Bringing the Heat – by Ginger Makela Riker – via Medium

all the best, kevin