Clarity Breaks

Beth Fahey Insights

I have a confession to make. As both an EOS implementer and a longtime user of the EOS process, I have a history of blowing off my clarity breaks. In recent years I’ve gotten better. As they say in the recovery business, the first step is admitting you have a problem. I am not alone. When I call to check in with my clients, they often confess the same thing to me. “Yeah, well, that ERP system is killing me,” or, “I’m short a salesperson,” or, closer to the truth, “There’s already a feeling amongst the team that all I do is have lunches, while everyone else does the REAL work.”

Hmm, it sounds like we’ve got an Issue there. We might need to process that.

For those of you unfamiliar with EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System, Clarity Breaks are the time that you schedule with yourself to work “on” your business. It’s “think time” for entrepreneurs – and it’s absolutely necessary. Solving problems in your business requires creative, right-brain activity. This type of thinking is nearly impossible when you are faced with putting out fires all day. By scheduling Clarity Breaks, you are declaring your time sacred and nothing, short of an act of God, should cause you to cancel that time to think creatively about solving the more significant, thornier Issues in your business.

So what’s the secret recipe to a productive Clarity Break? First of all, time. How often you schedule Clarity Breaks is really up to you, but the trick is that you have to plan it. You can’t just take a clarity break on a whim, or in-between sales calls. Put it in your calendar monthly, weekly, or even daily. Hit repeat, and then don’t change it for anything.

Next, find a place to do some thinking. For me, a Clarity Break is always preceded by a long walk outside. Being outside in nature floods your brain with dopamine and serotonin – which together facilitate creative thinking. I find a quiet place where I can sit down and write on a legal pad. Then, I just stare at birds. Miraculously, the ideas start coming. For me, that’s what works. For you, it might be something completely different. It’s really up to you and your personal style.

Just like anything else, Clarity Breaks won’t get taken unless the entire leadership team values and respects them. I’m very familiar with the guilt that can be strewn around the workplace when even the whisper of a clarity break is mentioned. Funny thing is, the guilt is usually all in the head of the person that wants to take a Clarity Break. We call that “head trash.” The truth is, everybody else wants you to take that break — because they know it’s necessary — and they want to take theirs!

Now go schedule that Clarity Break in your device. You’ll be amazed at what solutions you discover!