Most of us are bombarded by requests and things we should be doing from the moment we wake up. Part of it is our habit of checking email before we take the first sip of coffee. Part of it is the constant access to information all around us.
It’s easy to jump right in and get to work on whatever is pulling at our attention the most. If you want to get better at slow thinking, I suggest you stop that habit and start your day with some slow thinking first.
Regular Slow Thinking Daily
Put it on the calendar as your first action item of the day. Or, if that doesn’t work well for you, try setting aside a little time in the late afternoon or evening for thinking, contemplating, and planning.
Make it part of your daily ritual and watch your productivity, your focus, and your happiness increase. At the same time, don’t be surprised if your anxiety and stress levels drop.
If you’re worried about time and don’t think that you have it to spare, let me reassure you. First, you don’t need to schedule a lot of time. Ten to fifteen minutes per day should be plenty for most people.
You’ll more than make up that time when you sit down to get to work. No more wasting time figuring out what you should do first and what to do next. Your planning and thinking session has taken care of that. Try it and see for yourself.
Regular Slow Thinking Weekly
Don’t stop with daily slow thinking sessions. Set aside some time each week for slow thinking as well. This will help you prioritise and work on longer-term planning.
Some people like to set aside time at the end of the week, either Friday before they leave the office, or sometime over the weekend. Others prefer to extend their Monday morning thinking session to tackle the weekly stuff. Play around with it and see what works best for you. Start by thinking about the past week. What has worked, what hasn’t? What can you do this week to make progress?
Last but not least, let’s talk about entire slow thinking days. That’s right. I want you to consider taking an entire day (or more), to think about your future, your business, your family, your relationship, and the likes.
Big thinkers and innovators, like Bill Gates for example, have done this for years. Stepping away from everything else, clearing their mind, and focusing on nothing but slow thinking helps them see the big picture. It can do the same for you if you make the time for it. And the best way to ensure you make the time, is to put it on the calendar.
What are you waiting for? Get out that calendar and block out some slow thinking time for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.