Step Out From Behind the Screen: Five Mindful Leadership Practices

The screen is our interactive window for productivity. However, at what point does time in front of the screen actually jeopardize individual and team productivity, health, culture, and success?For CEOs, much of the day is spent in front of the screen. Whether managing email, having a remote meeting, operating systems, checking in on vitals, or executing tasks, we’re constantly navigating the digital world. The screen is our interactive window for productivity. However, at what point does time in front of the screen actually jeopardize individual and team productivity, health, culture, and success?

Spending too much time in front of the screen has negative impacts on a team’s performance as well as on personal and professional progress. In terms of the team, too much time in front of the screen — or individual screens — takes away our collective sense of purpose. Each individual gets into their own workflow and loses track of the collective vision they were working towards. Electronic communications between team members became short and even cold due to the lack of personal connection.

These five simple but powerful changes improve productivity and cultivate team connection.

Reflect on Your Wins

Each week, take time away from the screen to reflect on your progress. Using a pen and paper, write down the major milestones and even the small steps you took toward your vision.

Start a weekly practice of writing down your weekly wins in a journal. Write down everything from the past week that is a personal win or team win. Doing this without the noise of the screen – the email notifications and the lure of the Internet – provides a quiet, centered space for really connecting to what progress happened and what the next milestones are. Simplify feeling pen to paper is refreshing. We can more deeply connect to our intentions and natural rhythm. Take at least 15 – 30 minutes each week to write a list of your weekly wins.

Set Your Goals

Similarly, writing your wins from the past week, move on to write down your goals for the next week. Do this for yourself personally and professionally in a journal.

When you, as the leader, are clear on your vision and big picture goals, you lead with more authentic confidence. You can then better design and articulate your team’s vision and set a clear path forward. Take at least 15 – 30 minutes each week to write a list of your goals for the week ahead.

Conduct Team Meetings in Person

A weekly team meeting in person, without the presence of technology, aligns and connects the team as people. This may not be possible if you’re not all in the same office but if you have the luxury of working in the same office as your team, this is an invaluable opportunity to align and engage the team. Human to human connection is powerful. Take advantage of a rare opportunity to have the undivided attention of your team members! In your meeting, reconnect the team to the overall vision, the objectives you’re working toward, celebrate wins and progress, and connect as people through sharing updates or doing a fun team activity.

Schedule a weekly team meeting and use a white board to articulate the vision and updates, and use paper and pens to take notes.

Conduct One-on-One Meetings In-Person

Conduct weekly one-on-one meetings with each team member to check in on individual progress, offer guidance, and answer questions. This one-to-one connection on a regular basis is key for developing trust and supporting team member’s professional and personal development.

Having a meeting in person and leaving the technology behind shows ultimate respect for someone through undivided attention. Undivided attention is one of the greatest gifts you can give a team member and it shows through in how they respect you and their work on the team. Mentorship is best done in person and adds meaning to the day-to-day work. Schedule weekly one-on-one conversations with each team member and leave the tech behind.

Take a Break for Mindful Movement

Take time each day to walk or move, leaving technology behind. When in front of the screen, there is often information overload. This causes our mind to go in a million directions and energy burnout begins. Though it’s hard to justify walking away from our ongoing tasks, here’s some motivation: When we take a periodic break from the screen to move our body and allow our mind to rest, we return with more focus and energy. Leave your phone at your desk and take a mid-day walk outside, take a yoga class, or simply enjoy a healthy lunch with a friend or colleague to rejuvenate your body and your mind.

Screen time is definitely productive, however, finding the balance between screen time and non-tech time that allows you to remain healthy, connected, and focused is key. Doing selfwork and teamwork away from the screen provides essential benefits that will enhance your team’s productivity and connection. If you incorporate these five suggestions into your regular schedule, you will find yourself feeling healthier, more energetic, more productive, and more connected.