“Something to think about”
Everyone has those ‘something-to-think-about’ tasks on their todo list. You know what i’m talking about; they come from your family, friends, colleagues and sometimes even strangers. They come in all shapes and sizes and need various levels of consideration.
For the most, these tasks get put to the bottom of the list, completely unconsidered, until someone next prompts us to revisit them.
These particular tasks can be difficult to find the time to actually think about, more so if they lack a deadline to be ‘thought about’ by. It’s hard to set aside a portion of your already busy week to stop and think about them, especially if they’re particularly abstract.
“How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss
I found that as the new year started a few of these ‘something-to-think-abouts’ appeared on my to do list at work. For a couple of weeks they remained there as more tasks with more immediate need took precedence.
With a feed day due this seemed the perfect time to visit some of these tasks. (at this point it’s worth noting that due to my work days, I split my feed into two half days) The opportunity to work from home with no distractions seemed perfect, along with the fact that I didn’t have to do all my thinking in one day alone. I purposefully didn’t give myself a tangible goal for the time, I wanted to see what naturally occurred when I had the time to stop and think about this list.
With my list of ‘to-think-abouts’, I started by making a few quick notes on each one. My brain seemed to naturally focus on one point in particular. By the end of the two days i’d been able to read and research without having to dip out of it to talk to someone or quickly see to another task. I had the time to write it down, then write it up again in a more cohesive way before preparing an idea to share with my colleagues the next week.
Having the time to sit and think about one particular thing, with no time pressure or interruptions was a real luxury. A brisk 5km walk and a lunch with an encouraging friend and peer over this time gave my brain some down time when needed.
There’s not always the opportunity to have this quiet time away from the office and other responsibilities. But I’ve found that you can and should provide yourselves with snippets of thinking time throughout the day if you need it. If that list of ‘something-to-think-abouts’ gets neglected and built upon, there are a few things you can do.
David Laubner, from ThinkingPhones, a company that creates communications apps, carves time out of his day for thinking “I typically dedicate the first 15 to 30 minutes of each workday to nondigital thinking and planning. No meetings, laptops, or smartphones allowed. I pull out a plain old piece of paper and pen, and work through the issues required to make each day successful.”
It may be that you need to schedule this time in rather than waiting to see if you find yourselves with a spare 15 minutes (which for most never happens).
For some, getting out for a walk or a run (something that is repetitive) can provide you with the peace and calm needed to give something your consideration.
You can find some ideas on places you can find time to think here: https://timemanagementninja.com/2015/03/10-places-to-find-time-to-think/
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.”
― Henry Ford