96. I tried to think but nothing happened.

My client John brings an interesting approach to increasing his workplace productivity.

John is the general manager of a family owned investment company. His bosses live overseas and rely on John’s expertise to manage their substantial investments and produce significant monthly income for their family.

John manages three direct distinct investment streams for bosses: a small but growing portfolio of income producing residential and commercial properties, a blue-chip stock portfolio and an investment arm that helps start-ups get off the ground.

He is extremely well compensated for his efforts but the longevity of his career is constantly being measured against his ability to meet or exceed the growing expectations of those to whom he reports.

John has a staff of eight people to assist him in his endeavors and his small office is a hive of nonstop activity.

Much of his time is spent reviewing potential investments which have been vetted by senior staff members who also passed on to him mountains of data necessary for him to absorb in order to make quality decisions.

You would think with all these responsibilities and relentless pressure to deliver John would be an adrenaline fuelled, hyperkinetic soul whose days are filled by maintaining a frantic pace, without any breaks, while striving to stay ahead of an ever-growing workload.

And you would be wrong.

John is one of the calmest and most laid-back people I know.

And he has a secret weapon that helps him stay that way.

His secret is called to The Habit of Daily Reflection.

His first 15 minutes in his office each morning is spent in quiet reflection. His staff know to leave him alone, his phone is left unanswered and his emails unread.’
John uses this time to place himself in a relaxed state from which he creates ‘laser focus’ on what he intends to accomplish that day, on what obstacles he anticipates and how best to overcome them, and to ready himself for all tasks at hand.

This is John’s preparation time. He plans his day with great detail and ‘tests’ it in his mind to ensure that ‘it feels just right’.

Then he opens his eyes and hits the ground running. His entire day is spent executing on the plan built during his few minutes of practising The Habit of Daily Reflection.

Two or three times throughout the day he closes his office door and repeats the process to check his progress, make course corrections and, frequently raise the bar’s on his expectations for the day.

John first learned of The Habit of Daily Reflection more than 20 years ago and has been an adherent ever since.

He will tell you the he never runs low on energy as his time spent in deep reflection serves to ensure that “my tank is always full” and his head always brimming with new ideas.

I have had occasion to talk with each of his staff members and they marvel at his abundant energy, constant good mood and overall sense of self fulfilment.

Collectively they describe him as “the ideal boss” and several of them have become devoted followers of The Habit of Daily Reflection.

John explains his devotion to The Habit of Daily Reflection this way, “If it’s true that you can’t love another until you first love yourself then it stands to reason that you can’t make time for all you need to do if you don’t first make time for yourself.

“And you won’t have the energy you need to get everything done if you don’t make time to refuel.”

John believes there is no better way to start each day than by thinking and he often quotes Henry Ford who famously said,“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

Tough to argue with success, isn’t it.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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