Solitude can benefit your professional development and leadership

As Digital Transformation Lead, I have been reflecting on the incredible path that Technology has forced us to embrace during the past 12 months. Undoubtedly technology has been a lifesaver for business and our workforce alike, but it has also led to creating work environments that could relentlessly pressurise us to be always connected, answering emails, attending video conferencing, uploading data in digital platforms, etc.

We often find ourselves resorting to Multitasking which per se is detrimental to our performance (read my article at There is ample evidence and research showing that performance can decrease as much as 50% when a person focuses on two or more mental tasks at once.

So, where to start when trying to solve the complex problem generated by our Information Age? I believe a good place to start is looking at the other side of the spectrum and focusing on a counterintuitive concept: Solitude, a space within our inner being where we can focus one’s own thoughts without distractions. Our minds need the bandwidth to work successfully and effectively which can be found in the confines of Solitude.

Here are some thoughts…

Schedule pockets of solitude… in your daily calendar and protect them from other “priorities”. If you spend the entire workday at meetings, sending emails, it leaves little space in your minds to do the hard thinking which is critical for decision making and leadership.

Allocate time to reflect…. you will be surprised how many of your decisions will be improved when you retreat to solitude and allow time to analyze and reflect on the issues at hand.

Reject the social media addiction… by logging out of social media platforms closing web browsers and retreating to solitude….

Prioritise what’s important over what’s urgent… We often fall into the trap of consistently prioritising urgent tasks over important ones. Sometimes you need to address urgent issues but don’t let the “exception” become the “normal” depriving yourself of good development opportunities.

Create a “stop doing” list… Maximise your time. Your “To-Do” list will always grow and you cannot keep accumulating more tasks. Solitude offers you the space to reflect on where your time is best spent. You will have the clarity to decide which meetings you should stop attending, which committees you should step down from, etc.

If you could believe that the benefit of focus, for yourself and the people you lead, is worth making it a priority in your life then you will realise that before you can lead others, the first person you must lead is yourself.

Author: William Moraga-G / Digital Transformation Lead at Kaizen Recruitment Solutions 

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