I've been having "Thinking Vacations" for years. I've never really known them as that, or called them that, but I started to realize a while back that this is exactly what they were. The first clue was that I started a list before I left which was titled "things to think about when I'm on vacation". I know, easy to miss right?
I found myself so constantly overwhelmed and busy, just doing my day to day work, that I rarely had any time to simply think about the things that need to be thought about in my business and in my life. So I tended to bank these things up, put them in a little compartment in my brain and wait till I was on a plane, with some space and no one demanding my attention, to actually have the clear bandwidth to do the processing I needed to do.
Initially this started as a day off here and there. In recent years, it's grown to taking almost a week off at a time and going somewhere nice to think. Now of course I don't just sit and look at a candle and do nothing but think, chanting like a Zen Monk. I do other things that I like to do whilst on vacation, but every morning I get out my list of "things to think about" and I think about them.
In the course of the day, they are close to the top of mind for me, I get to put some fresh brain power into them. Some are problems, some are opportunities - all need my attention and if I don't give them the right attention the end result could be bad for me personally and professionally.
We all know that wonderful clarity and ease of thinking that comes once we are de-stressed and relaxed. Our best business ideas often come from laying on a deck chair by a pool, drinking a cocktail with a little umbrella in it. When we are removed from our normal environment, and we are relaxed, we think better.
The key here for me, is that I set my intent to think long and hard about important issues and opportunities. It's not something I do passively. My aim is to be flying home, feeling a sense of clarity and calm about the decisions I've made, which in many cases, have been holding my business back because I simply didn't have the capacity to give them the attention they needed.
So my advice to you, if you feel that you just don't get enough time to think, is to book yourself in for your first "thinking vacation". See how it goes, see if you like it and most importantly, see how your brain feels at the end of it. I'm pretty sure you will feel clear, calm and excited and even better, you will have thought through everything that needs to be thought through and you've made some important decisions.
In the world of business, the quality of our thinking is extremely important and in my opinion closely tied to our overall success. We need to do whatever we can to think better and with most of us struggling to just get through the working day, it's no surprise that the concept of a thinking vacation would be so appealing to so many.