than your doing. But you get so involved in your doing that you sacrifice your
thinking time for doing time.
The result is that you procrastinate the difficult and
challenging problems because you haven’t spent time thinking about them. Before
long, your to-do list, calendar and priorities overwhelm you and you feel
frazzled. Why? When you execute without thinking, you are reacting to whatever
is before you. It is your thinking that keeps you sane and focused.
One thing you can do to accelerate your think time is to
change your setting. You train your brain to use certain neuro pathways depending
on what you usually do in that setting. If you normally do tasks at your desk,
your brain will access the pathways to be efficient with tasks. But those same
pathways are not useful when trying to performing higher level cognitive thinking.
By physically moving to another location, you release your brain to use neuro pathways
that are better suited for creative problem solving.
Last year, one of my clients struggled with getting a
grip on his priorities and challenges before him. The more things piled up, the
more chaotic his life became and the more frazzled he felt.
So we worked out a routine where twice a week he would actually
go to another office and discipline himself to think about problems and
priorities. In short, he found he was able to bring order to the craziness and in
a matter of weeks he was on top of his work and was feeling good.
Last week we met again and he was once again in chaos. Toward
the end of our conversation, he admitted he was no longer scheduling his two think-meetings
a week. Why? Because he was too busy executing. So now he’s right back to where
he was a year ago. Duh.
Lest you think ill of my client, you do the same thing.
You yield to the pressures of time and energy and forego the important
disciplines that allow you to think deeply. Without those routines, it only
takes a few weeks before you are overwhelmed.
No one gives you think time. You have to take it. This
week, create or reactivate a routine that allows you to perform at your highest
level—thinking. If you don’t, be prepared for chaos and feeling frazzled.
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