When do you do Your Best Thinking? By Norman Cheesman

This is my first blog in a long time. Before we kick off the new year, read this story crafted by Norman Cheesman.


Over the holidays I had the misfortune to take a tumble riding my bicycle, something I enjoy and do as often as I get the chance.  Unfortunately, this particular outing ended with a mild concussion and a week of forced relaxation and pain killers.  Doctors told me not to look at a screen, and if some of you are wondering why I seemed out of touch, that is why.  Forced away from the usual ‘distractions’ of my laptop, TV or cell phone. I had to find other ways to pass the time.

The main thing that mandated time away from such devices is to allow you to think and reflect a lot more.  We live in a world of real-time distractions coming at us on many media.  How many of us consciously seek time to get away from those distractions each day?  It is hard to get some time away from one’s electronics, because we are so attached to them.  But you have no choice when your doctor says you have to put them away!

What I have realized from all this is that the absence of being in front of these devices all the time allowed me time to consciously think and reflect about life, my family, and a host of other things.  As I began to feel ‘normal’ again, I found that the thinking time had helped me to recharge my energy, and get ideas flowing.  I found my best ‘thinking space’ was just sitting on my couch with my feet up.  Some people prefer a long walk to do their thinking, and others prefer late at night when everyone else is in bed and the house is quiet.

The question of when or where you do your best thinking is less important than why it is important to take the time to just ‘think’ at all.  Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, schedules 2 hours of uninterrupted thinking time per day.  Bill Gates was well known for taking a week off once a year, just to reflect deeply without interruption.  Why?  To be more productive, to better handle crises and stress. To allow time to sort out complex problems, and to plan more effectively.  It is amazing how much I have come to appreciate the value of taking time to think and reflect.

Try it sometime, but not while riding a bicycle.

[this was a true story btw…]

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