How to Improve the Quality of Your Thinking
And not just the pace at which you go through your day
I proudly describe myself as driven and resourceful.
I’m convinced that you can drop me on a deserted island, and I’ll turn it into a sought after holiday destination in two weeks flat.
This drive has served me well in life.
It’s how I got through school.
But it’s also why I’m rarely satisfied with the way things are, and why I’m constantly looking for ways to make things work better, faster, or cheaper.
And without realising, this drive has taken control of my time.
As Juliet Funt writes in her book ‘A Minute to Think’*,
“Most would not even say they have a problem. It’s just the way they think work has to be, and they’ve resigned themselves willingly to it. And that, my friends, is the biggest problem. It’s our consenting that’s killing us.”
Still, I’m not planning to be any less driven.
But I want to improve the quality of my thinking and not just the pace at which I execute.
So, I’ve started scheduling my day around what Funt calls a ‘strategic pause’.
It’s stepping back to catch up with yourself, creating space to reflect, recuperate, and think.
And I’ve learnt that it doesn’t take a grand gesture to do it either.
- Start a meeting 10 minutes past the hour instead of on the hour,
- schedule 30 minutes for a meeting by default instead of 60 minutes,
- and start wrapping up my day at 16:30 instead of begrudgingly at 17.30.