Taking The Time to Just Think
According to a recent article on Inc.com, Warren Buffet has spent 80 percent of his career reading and thinking. Inc contributor Brian Scudamore says even though it seems counterintuitive to devote that much time to not being “busy,” he heralds Buffet as a trailblazer in this regard, and several high profile CEO’s are following suit.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong requires that his executives spend 10% of their day just thinking. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, schedules two hours of interrupted thinking time each day. Bill Gates takes off two weeks a year to reflect deeply, without interruption.
The fast pace of today’s business environment leads one to believe that thinking time is down time, but Henry Ford once said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”
Don’t underestimate the value of regularly scheduling stretches of time to go within to process, evaluate and plan. It will be time well spent.
How To Carve Out Uninterrupted Thinking Time
Inc.com contributor Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of a $250 million company, recently wrote about the importance of blocking out interrupted time to think. Other CEO’s are embracing the concept, too.
- Put “thinking time” on your calendar. If you can’t schedule a full day, block out a few hours a week that are off limits to everyone and everything.
- Don’t go to the office. Spend your time wandering, riding a bike, sitting on the beach or a park bench.
- Bring your journal to capture and organize your ideas into an actionable form – don’t censor or judge what you record.
- Use the time to prune your to-do list. Keep only the items that are truly priorities.
Scudamore says, at first, devoting time to just thinking felt self-indulgent. But now he can’t imagine doing without it. What about you? How would protected time to reflect, evaluate, process and plan help you excel?
Inc.com contributor Dan Scalco suggests these 5 early morning rituals to start you day and boost productivity.
First, get a good night’s sleep. You’ll feel restored and energized.
When you awaken, exercise — even if only for 5 minutes. Morning exercise improves cardiovascular performance, delivering oxygen to your brain and body and reduces fatigue.
Then, take a cold shower. The cooler than usual water will increase your adrenaline, decrease tension, lift your mood and boost your memory.
Enjoy a well-balanced breakfast and head to your workplace.
Before checking emails or phone messages, plan your day. Make a list of the things you want and need to get done. Then prioritize them. Complete the most important tasks first, saving lower priority items until later in the day. Your prioritized list can also lessen transition time between projects, leaving more time to address the unexpected.