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The Benefits of a Personal Retreat

By April 19, 2017March 17th, 20182 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I spent two days in West Virginia for an individual business retreat. I used this time to review my goals and progress, make necessary adjustments, and work on some strategic goals that I find challenging to complete during my everyday work.

It can be hard to find time to really focus and get meaningful work done when you are surrounded by distractions, interruptions, and a calendar booked with meetings.

Sometimes you need to slow down to speed up.

Pausing for an hour (or a couple of days) to recalibrate and get clarity on where you are going and what you need to do to get there can actually speed up your progress. When I start to feel overwhelmed, ¬†it’s usually an indication that I don’t have clarity about what I need to be working on. Slowing down to create clarity allows me to refocus my energies and increase my productivity.

Watch the video below to hear about my retreat in West Virginia and how a personal retreat can help you to refocus and get better results. I almost canceled this scheduled retreat because of some big life changes we have going on (I share some of that in the video), but I honored my commitment, and the results were awesome.

Once you’ve watched the video, I’d love to hear from you. How do you build time into your schedule for strategic and meaningful work? Share your tips in the comments below!

Laurie Maddalena


  • I remember back in college (long ago), that focused work can only happen if I left my young wife and child behind and went to the library stacks. There I made my own private space/ music/ sanctum if you will. The 3 hours I spent there each day improved the quality of life at home as I was not worrying about “not studying”. I was “all in” when I studied which meant I could be all in the family at other times. i realize this is a slightly micro version of what you are talking about.

    I do go off site for strategic planning every year. It is helpful and the leadership team is more “normalized” when we are off site. Very casual.

    I took the first step of planned regular meetings with my own team this year as a result of the class and I think an off site meeting would be a great idea. I will start this in the fall as a tool for input and discussion for our corporate 2017 strategic planning.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Mark! Taking focused time is something that can benefit any area of life–work, family, and school. I feel the same as you that when I take a few hours to focus and get good work done, I am a much better parent and spouse. It allows me to compartmentalize. For me, structure creates freedom. Let me know how your off site for your team goes!

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