I met a guy from IBM this week.

Quite a senior guy.


Challenging in his approach.

A team leader.

A man keen to push, push, push his teams to the absolute limit.

A man keen get the most out of his people.


He revealed to me and to the other people in the room.

The most important thing he did with every single team member.

Every single week.

In order to wring every last drop out of them as team members.

This is what he did.

He emptied half a day of all of their diaries each week.

And sent them out of the office.

Out of Office. 

He sent them to a hotel.

Or a cafe.

With no phones.

And no computers.

And no tablets.

Just each other.

He encouraged them to talk to each other about what they’d experienced in the other four and a half days of the week.

To digest it.


To describe how they saw it.

To help each other.

To explore how they were actually going to apply what they’d learned that week.

And that was that.


The right kind of downtime.

Even at work.

Is important.

Time to pause.

And think.

And digest.

Or you just end up consuming.



Packing all this stuff into your hours and your minutes and your seconds.

Not tasting anything properly.

Not processing anything properly.

Not thinking about anything properly.

Not pausing to work out what’s good so you can do the good things more.

And not pausing to work out what’s bad so you stop doing them.

And this is all wrong.


So pause.

Pause in a fixed pattern like the guys at IBM do.

Make the right kind of downtime a habit.

You – and your uptime – will be better for it.

Write A Comment