We can all fall into the trap of working “too hard”. Focussing on relentless todo lists, prioritising our calendars and chasing inbox zero. This is all well and good, but how much time do you spend just thinking?

The ability to swap the mode by which you think and execute from active to passive is under-appreciated and can have massive impact on your life and business.

Steve Jobs was famous for taking walks when brainstorming, Keith Cunningham actively schedules Thinking Time … isn’t it time you should consider doing the same?

It didn’t used to be my natural state so I can relate to those who find this concept slightly weird. But don’t worry, you can keep all your clothes on and you don’t need to chant a mantra (unless thats your thing!) Thinking time is simply about getting out of your own way, letting the vast power of your subconscious brain take over for 20 minutes in order to solve problems that you can’t solve with pure logic.

For me, it happens twice a day. Once in the morning after the gym and before I start to execute … this means I defer ANY meetings until 11 at the earliest. Then once at the end of the day, around 9pm. Both blocks are scheduled and not treated as second class citizens to doing what can appear as more productive.

The key to thinking time is asking yourself the right type of question. There are good questions and okay questions … there really isn’t a bad question as the fact that you’re doing it in the first place will give you rewards you hadn’t yet perceived. Some good questions are as follows: “What am I missing” … “What am I not seeing” … “Why am I finding xxx difficult”.

Pseudo Scientifically speaking, your brain is lazy and incredibly resistant to change and will constantly try and force you down the same thought path as before. Hence, a question such as “How do I fix xxx” will give you the same answer you already have, whereas “Why am I finding xxx difficult” will provide you a fresh perspective.

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
― Voltaire

Author

With a tech career that started before internet explorer was launched, I’m a technology focussed strategist with over 25 years at the forefront of technology disruption. Historically I’ve owned and managed agencies centred around Web and Mobile transformation helping B2B and B2C companies across the globe, from SME’s to Fortune 50.

Across the years I have been through 3 mass recessions and am putting the knowledge and experience of more difficult times to use to help businesses see what they have, what they need to succeed and how to bridge the two.