The world is under the spell of corona. Borders between countries are closed. Catering establishments are closed. Many work at home or do not work at all. We talk about ‘quarantine’ and ‘self-isolation’. Many great leaders see the importance of quarantine. They call it ‘retreats’. According to them, periods of seclusion are necessary for relaxation and reflection. They are convinced that this has a positive effect on focus and productivity. How can you turn corona into a period of reflection?
Corona as a retreat for reflection
We’re usually very busy. Multitasking, we rush from one thing to another. For many of us this has suddenly disappeared after the emergence of corona. This creates stress again. Because we don’t know what the next few months are going to look like. So I call on the hard workers among us to take a different approach. Think of corona as a moment of reflection. Turn your quarantine into a retreat. And use this time to reset your brain!
Productive leaders like Bill Gates, John F. Kennedy, Steve Jobs and Gandhi all went on regular retreats. Why? Because they were convinced that a period of relaxation and reflection was good for focus and productivity.
Bill Gates quarantined for contemplation
Bill Gates retreated to “think weeks” in a cabin in the woods for a week once in a while. That’s how he developed his best strategies. How’s that possible? By isolating himself, Bill Gates did not allow himself to be led by the delusion of the day for a week. The seclusion gave his brain the opportunity to relax and tap into deeper layers of thought.
Corona and leisure time: time for mental fitness!
All gyms and fitness schools are closed. Why not take the opportunity to do something about mindfitness? It is common knowledge nowadays that you need to take good care of your body. And that you need exercise to be fit.
Neurological research shows that your brain and mind also need care. Monks have known this for thousands of years. But more and more leaders and companies are starting to realize that mental fitness is important for a healthy and productive life.
For example, a study published in Forbes shows that exercises in mindfulness and meditation increase your productivity. This is because your left and right hemispheres work together more. As a result, you make better use of the capacity of your brain. Meditation is even more effective than making more hours!
Corona as reality and moment for contemplation
Corona is now a reality. This leads to fear and uncertainty. That too is a fact. Mindfulness and meditation invite you to face this reality. And to deal with the situation as constructively as possible. You can do this by seeing the corona as a moment for contemplation.
Corona: at home with screaming children
For many, the corona quarantine means a lot of extra stress. Because the schools and the theme parks are closed. So the kids are bored. Yet even then you can use this period of corona for a short moment of reflection.
Exercise for your mental fitness
That’s why I’m inviting you to see every day of your corona quarantine as an opportunity for a retreat. Turn off your computer and social media twice a day. Just don’t multitask. Also don’t feverishly look for the latest corona messages and corona jokes. That doesn’t make you more productive or creative. Put your children on a game for five minutes and say that you can’t be disturbed for the next five minutes.
Begin the following exercise for the fitness of your brain and mind. The time investment for this exercise is only ten minutes: five minutes twice a day. And if you think you will be a soft or wishy washy person because you are meditating: Steve Jobs was also meditating. So why don’t you?
This exercise lasts a little longer than five minutes. It’s simple. So you can’t do it wrong. Try it for four weeks and see what it does to you. With this exercise you increase your productivity and creativity. And it also makes you healthier and happier.
Get in touch with your vision
The time you normally spend stuck in traffic jams can now be spent on developing your vision. If you do this immediately after the mental fitness exercise, the effect is stronger. I invite you to reflect on the following questions:
- What is really important to you in your work? How can you pay more attention to this?
- What is really important to you in your family? How can you pay more attention to this?
- What is really important to your friends? How can you pay more attention to this?
Pay attention to developing a vision of what really matters to you. It is important for success and satisfaction. Life is too short to let yourself be led only by the delusion of the day. With vision you can take the helm of your work and your life.