The 10-Minute Timeout
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Do you ever feel like you are running from meeting to meeting and activity to activity? At the end of the day, you feel like you spent hours on the proverbial hamster wheel with little to show for your efforts. What’s worse, you had very meaningful meetings, phone calls, and appointments, but you can’t recall all the details. Even your notes are almost cryptic and need to be deciphered by an expert in military code. This seems to have been my life over the last year or so. Last week, I heard about a new tool that I think can help us all, The 10-Minute Timeout.

What I like most about his tool is that it doesn’t require us to buy anything new. No new app to purchase either; in fact, no technology is required at all. I suppose technology can help you, but it’s more about becoming intentional about taking a pause between activities, meetings, or calls. Not a long pause, just 10 minutes or less. You will need to break the habit of scheduling meetings back-to-back, but trust me, it will be worth it. So here we go; the tool consists of three questions you need to answer after each activity, meeting, or call:

  • Where can I use this? When you are finished with your activity, meeting, or call, ask yourself if there is something you heard or learned that is useful in moving you toward your goals or mission. If the answer is yes, identify where you can use this information.


  • When can I use this? Your next step is to identify and plan when you can use this information. It might be something you can use right away, or perhaps it’s months or even years away. Just make sure that you have a good system for filing your newly found information.


  • Who needs to know this? The last question is all about adding value to others and building up your organization. Who can benefit from the information you learned, and how can you get the information to them.


Taking just a few minutes out of each day can slow down the hamster wheel and allow us to glean the key learnings that can fuel growth for ourselves, our teams, and our organizations. If you would like to hear some application tips for his tool, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 210 of The Next Page podcast.

Listen and subscribe to The Next Page here: iTunes | Google Play | PodBean