MY TWO CENTS:
A friend and I had breakfast a few weeks ago. As always, we got into topics of personal development, leadership, and impact for those with whom we have influence like our families, colleagues, and clients. I shared a comment that I “used to” have a discipline called R3 during which I blocked time off my calendar to allow myself the time for realignment. His timely and direct question in reply was, “Why did you stop?”
No good reason aside from allowing other more urgent issues of the day/week creep in and fool me into thinking that neglecting my R3 time would be the right decision. So, I made the decision to recommit myself to the weekly R3 time so I can give myself the best opportunity to remain aligned with my personal priorities and purpose.
You’re probably thinking, “What the heck does ‘R3’ mean?”
R3 stands for REFRESH, REFOCUS, RESTORE. It’s a way of settling my mind, quieting the noise around me, and remembering what matters. I dedicate a two-hour block where my phone is set to “Do Not Disturb” and where I don’t check social media or email. I also try to find a quiet place where I won’t be distracted by others popping in on me or catching my attention.
My structure is pretty simply. I spend time about 30 minutes in prayer and Bible reading, 30 minutes reading the book into which I’m currently investing myself, and then an hour doing deep work on my business. I find myself energized, focused, and feeling accomplished as I wrap up this time. It allows me to have myself aligned so that the inevitable distractions don’t pull me away so quickly and easily. This time is also when some of my best ideas either come to me or are further developed so I can act on them. Pretty cool how that happens!!
Maybe this discipline will help you, too. If you feel like you wander from one urgent thing to another, or get frustrated because you’re not accomplishing what you’d like, or you just can’t seem to get settled on an idea or a concern of life, maybe your own version of R3 would help. It doesn’t have to look like mine with the same components, but a purposeful, committed, and disciplined time where you can allow the noise to subside and your thoughts to clarify certainly can’t hurt.
Here's my gentle nudge to action: give it a try! Start with 30 minutes doing something that allows the quiet to creep in. Don’t be afraid…it’s only 30 minutes. Maybe it’s a walk in the woods without your ear pods playing music or a podcast. Maybe it’s exercising without the TV on. Maybe its meditating or praying quietly. Maybe you, like me, prefer more structure but with your own components. Whatever you choose, there’s no harm that can come from you investing in your alignment with your own priorities!
We’d love to hear from you if you have your own version of this discipline, if you done this in the past, or if you’re going to commit yourself to it moving forward. It’s always fun to be able to encourage each other toward the things of life that we’re feeling called to pursue!
Make it a great week!
Scott Cousino, CFP®, CEPA®