Taking time to just think


I recently read this article titled, “Why Successful People 10 Hours a Week Just Thinking.

The post highlights the fact that Warren Buffett has built his empire on a wide-open schedule where he has a lot of time to just think. It also identifies the thinking practices of executives like Tim Armstrong of AOL, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square, and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn. And it lays out an outline of how to structure your thinking time.

The article makes sense but my first thought was “where do these guys find 10 hours per week to just think?”

Then I thought, I can’t possibly be busier than these executives.

We’re all really busy balancing our work and personal lives, and dedicating 10 hours purely to thinking seems pretty indulgent. But if these high-profile execs can find the time to think, so can all of us.

The author, Brian Scudamore, suggests blocking out a full day on your calendar and dedicate it to only thinking.

While that’s ideal, I think that may be difficult for many to achieve. Your boss may not like that.

However you fit it into your schedule, the idea is that you have to intentionally and deliberately focus on thinking.

You can use any environment to think and find inspiration. Your office is usually the worst place to go.

When I used to take the subway to work, I would use that time to find inspiration and think.

On my walk to the Metro stop, I’d look around at the people hustling and the cars driving. On the subway, I’d look at the ads on the walls and people getting on and off the train.

For some reason, all of this movement got my mind going. I’d jot down my ideas and implemented many of them.

Whenever I walk my dog, I clear my mind and just let it wander (my mind, not my dog). 🙂

Sometimes, when I work from home, I’ll lie down on my bed or sit on my couch and just let my mind meander to wherever it wants to go.

In today’s non-stop world, it’s difficult to just stop, focus, and think.

Dedicating time away from the computer to let your mind do its thing can be both very productive and a nice reprieve from busyness. So why not give it a shot?

Do you dedicate time to just think?

I’d love to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me @mikewchan, or email me at mike@mikewchan.com.

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