Our thinking sets us apart as professionals. It determines our success and our future.
Yet, I see so many people who are always in “doing” mode. Even when they have a few solitary moments, they would pull out their cell phone and start checking their text messages or worst, play games! They literally hunt to find things that can fill their time. Their minds are programmed to do stuff. To always be in “act” mode.
Doing stuff, executing is extremely important because all progress depends on how well we execute the ideas. But pre-requisites for executing well is to have a good idea and a thoughtful plan to execute it. Be it your project, your people, your career or your family – thinking before doing is crucial.
I do a very interesting exercise with my team members and friends. I give them a central idea or a problem statement and ask them to think about it for 10 minutes. They need to come back to me with their take on the idea and whatever they were able to think about it. Since they are not used to dedicate a time slot for thinking, they hit the wall. Their mind just stops.
Eventually, as I do this more and more with them, they start opening up. Their brain cells start ticking and they come back with ideas, thoughts and solutions. It takes time, but this exercise can work wonders. Our brain needs conditioning and environment to think.
Personally for me, early morning is the best time to ruminate and reflect upon my subject, priorities and things that occupy my mind space.
Idea is to allocate some part of your day to active thinking on your subject, your project, your career and your priorities in life. Silence is important, so is solitude.
So let you be alone, let your cell phone be switched off for a while, let your brain go on a thoughtful ride. I can tell you, that the ride is completely worth it.
As one of my mentors say – “Man who lives without thinking is a two-legged animal.”