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Time for a Clarity Break? Take Some Starbucks Time

Written by Jonathan Smith on January 6, 2014

Implementers EOS

Starbucks gift cardI sent a number of my business partners a $25 Starbucks Gift Cards early in December for the holidays. My intent was to thank them for supporting me in 2013 with an eye to a bigger future in 2014. I added a note to the card, asking if it was "Time for a clarity break?" I figured if it was "time," a little Starbucks might just do the trick.

What is a Clarity Break?

Great leaders have a habit of taking quiet thinking time (Clarity Breaks), escaping the office on a regular basis. When you come back, you will be amazed by your improved focus and state of mind. Clarity breaks help keep your head clear, your confidence high, and your focus strong.

The Clarity Break is one of the 20 EOS Tools in the Tool Box. Don Tinney, Owner and Integrator at EOS Worldwide, wrote an informative blog post about clarity breaks entitled: Great Leaders Take Clarity Breaks that is worth a read.

Rest the Antidote for Attention Fatigue

I just finished reading Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman and it provided some excellent academic support for Clarity Breaks:

Tightly focused attention gets fatigues -- much like an overworked muscle -- when we push to the point of cognitive exhaustion. The signs of mental fatigue, such as a drop in effectiveness and rise in distractedness and irritability, signify that the mental effort needed to sustain focus has depleted.

He goes on to note that the solution for mental fatigue is to take a rest . . . a clarity break ;-).

Such restoration occurs when we switch from effortful attention, where the mind needs to suppress distraction, to letting go and allowing our attention to be captured by whatever presents itself . . . Traditional advice for ideal settings for "retreat" seems to include all the ingredients needed for cognitive restoration.

Take Some Starbucks Time

If you are not taking time for clarity breaks, you need to make some. Clarity breaks will help you replenish your energy, restore attentiveness and memory, and improve cognition.

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