Friday, August 1, 2008

Schedule some time to think

Do you ever take a minute to just sit down and think? No Internet, no phone, no iPod, just you and your brain.

It’s a question Chris Morgan from Learn2Develop asked earlier this week, that got me thinking. When does anyone have time to just sit down and think?

In today’s world, our schedules are crammed back-to-back with meetings and deadlines, with hardly enough time to grab “lunch” from the vending machine.

It turns out some very smart (and busy) people have figured out how to fit thinking in daily. Barack Obama, Leonardo DaVinci and MindMap inventor Tony Buzan all take thinking pretty seriously.

"The most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you're doing is thinking," said Obama in a recent BBC article.

Innovative companies including Google and 3M allow employees to set aside 20% of their time to think and work on projects not immediately connected to core business goals.

If you think giving away free time will have employees playing video games and shopping online for shoes, think again - 50% of Google’s latest features were thought up during employee “free-time.”

“Aspiring innovators don't need pep talks. They need TIME. Time to think. And time to dream. Time to collaborate. And time to plan. Time to pilot. And time to test. Time to tinker. And time to tinker again,” says Mitch Ditkoff at The Heart of Innovation.

So, block out a little time on your schedule today for a meeting with yourself, a meeting just to think. Ready? All together now ... ohmmm ...


Benjamin Ellis said...

I like to head out for a walk in our local woods. Sometimes we even head out there as a team, to talk and to think, away from laptops, phones and other distractions.

Darlene said...

Thinking is absolutely key to success. I'm a writer and if I try to get past a block while sitting at my desk with my laptop, it just doesn't happen. Something distracts me, I start on something else, or that evil little cursor laughs at me from the blank page. BUT if I get up and go outside and sit or take a walk, or sometimes just a short drive, nine times out of ten I end up having a really good idea.

Darlene said...

I totally agree that getting away to think is key to being successful. As a writer, if I try to get past a block by sitting at my desk, in front of my laptop, it just doens't happen. But if I go outside and either sit or take a walk, without my cellphone or any other annoying electronic, I think of something to get past my problem. I've just sat and thought with no goal in mind and something new almost always gets thought up.

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