One of the biggest problems most of us face in business is getting the space to actually think clearly. From the minute we arrive at the office (and generally long before), till late in the day, we are bombarded with ever increasing forms of communication - and it's getting worse every day. Where in among this madness, do we find the space to actually think?
I talk about this a lot, I write about this a lot, but I see it as one of the biggest issues facing business owners today. I remember many years back being able to close a door and actually think about the tasks at hand, the projects I had to deliver, the meetings that were coming up, the problems I had to solve, the decisions I needed to make. I had to make these decisions on the fly. That's OK to a point, it's just the way it was, but how does it did it make me feel?
For a long time I felt stretched most of the time, pulled apart, on the fly and forever not feeling like I was doing my best work (because I wasn't). I decided enough was enough. I started to build a lot of time into my life to simply take a step back and think.
I do this during my working day, I do this when I'm traveling, I allocate time periodically to just think about what ever it is I need to think about. It takes discipline to do this, and we need to make sure we don't fill our "thinking time" with a long list of things to do, all of which stop us thinking about the things that we need to think about. In fact a while back I wrote an article about having a "Thinkcation" - meaning to go away and think.
The nice thing about allocating time to think, whether it be during your day, your week or your year, a 10 minute thinking break or a week long "Thinkcation", is how you feel simply by making some space to think. As simple as it sounds, it has been fundamental to me building my business. And as I get older, I try to make even more time on a daily basis to stop and think.
In a world of thinly organized chaos and overwhelm, we all need better tools and strategies to help us not just survive it, but thrive in it. And I strongly believe that if you make time, quality time, to do nothing but think and process information and to make decisions, you will be astonished at how much better you actually feel.
Funnily enough, thinking time was an accepted part of business years ago. People actually just sat and thought in their offices. But that was before we needed to spend all of our time communicating.
I suggest starting small, maybe making some time in the morning and in the afternoon, grab a coffee, find a quiet place, go outside if you can, get away from where anyone can reach you, leave your phone at your desk (yes) and think. As you start to enjoy it and make better decisions, you will naturally start to allocate more time to thinking and your world will change for the better.