We’ve been talking a lot about slow thinking here lately. That’s all well and good when you have the time and space to do it. But what do you do when everyone around you is operating at a faster speed and is trying to rush you?
It’s hard to stay committed to slow thinking, and make the time for it when needed, in an environment of fast thinkers.
Schedule Time for Slow Thinking
The best place to start, when your goal is to make sure you spend some time practising slow thinking, is to put it on the calendar.
Block out a little time each day when you can stop rushing and really think.
It’s helpful, but not necessary, to schedule your slow thinking for the same time every day. If you can do it, great. It will help you create a good habit. If you can’t, don’t worry about it.
Look at your day each morning and decide where you can carve out little pockets of time to slow down and figure out exactly what you could and should be doing.
Seclude Yourself as Best as You Can
Sometimes the best thing you can do to ensure you can hear yourself think is to find a quiet space to be alone, even for a little while.
I realise this isn’t always possible. We all have family and work obligations, and often, our environment isn’t conducive to shutting the door to make space for some quiet contemplation.
Do what you can, where you can. Get up before everyone else wakes up, stay up late or take your lunch in a quiet park instead of working through it at your home desk, if it’s busy at home.
Find those little pockets of time for solitude and avoid the temptation to pull out your phone or turn on the radio. Embrace the silence and use it to think.
Compromise as Needed
Sometimes your customer needs that information at the drop of a hat and sometimes you have to make important decisions quickly. That’s okay. Do your best and move on.
All I’m suggesting here is that you also make time for slow thinking and quiet contemplation when and where you can. Do your best and don’t let yourself get sucked back into a culture of only fast and reactionary thinking.
Before you know it, slow thinking will become a habit and part of your core personality. That’s the end goal.