We all know that new ideas are needed if you are going to stay ahead of the competition. But – it is really hard to come up with those ideas if you don’t have quality time to think. For many of us, our days start with early meetings, the infamous – “let’s meet early for coffee”, which usually runs more than the allotted hour. Then the “calendar” for the day is full. Demands for your time outweigh the hours in the day. By the time you are on the way home, sometimes after dinner meetings, you are mentally wiped out.
Paul B. Brown is a well-known business writer and contributor to Forbes and HBR, among others. In a recent article about entrepreneurs, he writes about the challenges of creating more time to think.
Here are some of ideas gleaned from several successful entrepreneurs:
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In addition to the nutritional value, take time just to sit and think. Don’t check your email while eating your scrambled eggs (egg whites only). Spend some time just thinking about the most important objective.
- Stress and unnecessary distractions impede ability to think. Planning is very important.
- Take a real lunch break. Most of us use lunch for meetings or to grab something to eat and work through. While this is often necessary, even 15 – 30 minutes mid-day without distractions is very helpful.
- Exercise. Plan time for yourself. You can’t check email or voice mail while actually working out at the gym.
- Shake up your routine. Do something out of the ordinary.
- Some of us remember the old days before cell phones were prevalent. We experienced fewer interruptions. There is a blessing as well as a curse with 24/7 constant communication facilities. Let the smart phone relax for a little while. They need a break too.
- The long weekend. You likely won’t escape all work, but having an extra day or two does help recharge.
Yes, we all recognize that these things are important and make sense, but it is good to revisit some basics that make sense and work.
Let me know what your tricks are to creative thinking. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be sure to share your best practices.