The Death of Naturally Occurring Reflection

I just returned from running some errands at lunch. 

Every time I drive, I am stunned by the drivers who start scrolling their phones as soon as their cars come to a stop. Then when the light turns green, they seem annoyed if you disturb their scrolling to get them back to the task of driving. 

I guess this shouldn’t surprise me. 

According to Techspot, “In 2019, Asurion published a study indicating that US residents checked their smartphones an average of 96 times per day, or about once every ten minutes (when accounting for eight hours of sleep).

The company has recently (June 2022) done a follow-up study and found that the number increased nearly four-fold to a whopping 352 times a day. That would mean the average American checks their phone about once every three minutes.”

It’s also remarkable how easily I spot this problem in others and ignore this problem for myself. 

This habitual dive into digital distraction has a profound effect on leadership. 

A leader worth following possesses the willingness to do self-reflection. Self-reflection involves uninterrupted time to evaluate past decisions and ponder future directions. In decades past, this time of reflection naturally occurred while sitting idly at a stop light or waiting to pick up your kid or board your flight.  

When your Phone vacuums up this natural time for reflection, you must be more intentional to make it happen. 

So, as you look at the remainder of your week, when and where will you spend time reflecting?

It no longer just happens. You must make it happen.

One More Thing

Don’t be surprised if your first feeling is anxiety when spending time with your thoughts. Push through it, and DON’T reach for your phone to make it go away.


Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford is Director of Content and Product Strategy for Leadercast. Brian has been telling stories professionally for twenty-five years. Stories that inspire people to see themselves and the world differently. Stories that challenge people to take meaningful action in the world.

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