I came across a brilliant tip the other day and thought I would share with all my readers. The tip is quite simple, it says that we should schedule thinking time.
Schedule thinking time
Look at your calendar the last 12 months, how many meetings and commitments are on your calendar? Now look again and figure out how many of these meetings and commitments are scheduled so you can sit there alone and think about how to tackle your problems?
If you are like me, you probably have not scheduled any thinking time to tackle your problems.
Why do we want to schedule thinking time? Because most people fail to identify what the problem actually is. People do what the problem isn't.
For example, you want to lose weight so you read and buy diet books. But the problem isn't finding the right diet book. The problem is that you are taking in too much calories and not exercise enough.
Another example, you want to retire early so you hire a financial advisor and start investing. One year later, your investment didn't yield good returns, so you fire the advisor and hire another one. The problem isn't finding the right advisor. The problem is that you have no knowledge about how to retire early and you have no desire to control your own destiny.
So how do we schedule thinking time? The idea is very simple, schedule 30 minutes of thinking time, two or three times a week. Create a known routine like sitting in your thinking chair, using your thinking pen, or putting on a thinking cap during your thinking time. Make sure nobody disturbs you during this time and remove yourself from any distractions so you can really think.
The most important step - before starting your thinking time, write down a question that you want to think about.
You want to avoid asking yourself a stupid question, because you will just waste your time.
Some stupid questions include asking yourself why my sales are not enough, why your investments are not making any money, or why you are not making more money. (Or why the blog is not getting any traffic 🙂 )
We don't want to schedule thinking time to think about stupid questions. Time is too precious, don't waste it.
Ask yourself, what is the problem? Is it because not enough people know about me, hence the poor sale? Did I not do sufficient research or have enough knowledge prior to making the investment? Is it because I am not negotiating my salary?
When you are thinking hard about the one question that you wrote down, it is also important to practice conflicting thoughts. Ask yourself - what don't I see, why should and shouldn't I do this? For example, if your question is related to whether you should invest in a stock, you must be ready to argue both sides. You need to be able to argue why and why you shouldn't invest very strongly. The quality of your decision is directly proportional to the number of conflicting thoughts you can simultaneously entertain.
When I first heard about this tip I was very intrigued but at the same time skeptical. I am happy to announce that I have tried scheduling thinking time a number of times. So far the results are pretty amazing. It's pretty cool how much you can accomplish in the short 30 minutes, when removing yourself from any distractions and ask yourself a good question to think about.
So please give it a try, schedule thinking time today and start tackling one problem at a time. 🙂