For many of us, we do our best dreaming and thinking in the car, in the shower or even on vacation. When we least expect it, our minds wander off to fascinating places where we are able to be more creative. Before we realize it, we have discovered an answer to a pressing question, a great topic to blog about or the best way to complete a project we have been struggling with. It is interesting how and when our minds become open to new perspectives and possibilities.
What if we could replicate the “drifting off” experience and build it into our work worlds?
What if we could purposefully cut out time during our hectic schedules to just think?
Here are four ways that may help in cultivating the time for pure thinking:
PUT THINKING AT THE TOP OF YOUR TO DO LIST
It may sound a bit crazy, but we might want to factor in reflection time as we construct our chock-filled calendars. Each week, decide on a set amount of time to leave open for nothing but breathing and thinking. If we don’t allot ourselves time to let our brains roam, we will constantly have too much clutter to ponder new perspectives or alternatives. Choose the amount of “getting lost in your thoughts” you want to embrace.
STRUCTURE THE TIME
You might be saying that when we don’t designate a specific schedule, we come up with our best ideas. Yet when we commit to how we want to enforce this precious free-thinking time, we can make sure it happens.Here are some activities you can try:
- Brainstorm an idea by writing things down or drawing pictures of what you think might work best.
- Read up on the topic or challenge to learn about new possibilities. Exploring new perspectives can jostle exciting directions you haven’t considered.
- Decide on three steps you will take and commit to making them happen.When we clear our minds of our other routine tasks we can sometimes make room for the right actions.
SAY NO TO INTERRUPTIONS
Instead of hanging a “Do not disturb” sign on your door or workspace, put the notice into your head. Short of an emergency, make it known to yourself and others that you are out of reach. No phone calls. No emails. No social media. No office drop-ins. Just say “yes” to “getting lost in your thoughts.”
EMPOWER YOURSELF TO THINK
Remind yourself how your mind is able to roam when you are in those “other places”. You deserve this time. Consider how important it is to create fresh ideas and new ways to solve problems. Open yourself to blank space with no agenda or rules. Dump your fears and focus. Look at “getting lost in your thoughts” as an opportunity and gift to yourself to grow and develop meaningful plans.