The Power of Reflective Thinking
Beautiful weather we have been having. A bit of snow. Warm (but not warm enough to melt it)I always like adding to my Time Management Systems. Wall Street Journal had a great article that adds to my thoughts.I have been over busy lately. I know that I create my own busyness. Something in me does not allow me to not be super busy. I think to some extent it also helps my productivity. I feel the weight of everything I have on so I work hard at being efficient.At some level though I know this busyness hurts my truly greatest value. My creativity. We all need time to reflect.So of course to add to the pressure I read a book. Consider Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization by Daniel Forrester.When anything is referred to as powerful it makes it seem well more powerful.There is a huge push in business for a bias to action. This is what Forrester argues (successfully) actually can hurt the business more than help it.
The book refers to the email abuse that causes much of the "rush" for most of us.From an article by Forrester:"It was said that Thomas Edison would often take his fishing rod, sit at the end of the pier, cast away, and then just sit there for hours. However, he would never put any bait on his hook. He didn't really want to catch any fish. What he wanted to do was to sit there uninterrupted, just reflecting on the issues of the day, on his work, or on whatever else came into his mind. He knew that if he looked as if he were fishing, no one would bother him, so he could reflect uninterrupted. All he really wanted to do was catch ideas. Edison singed many pictures for friends and admirers filled with the visionaries' advice. To one friend he said, "All things come to him who hustles while he waits. Your friend, Thomas Edison."
I buy into the theory. I even try (largely unsuccessfully) to practice it. The challenge I see in business is would anyone tolerate a bunch of people simply sitting in their offices staring into space. Not sure they would be the people getting the promotions.
The book provoked thought (which for me makes it a good book) and perhaps ironically made me think of a plan of how I could get reflective time. Of course perhaps because I am so caught up in my busyness, many of my ideas do double duty. Reflective time and something else (in most cases exercise). My top 7 are:
1 - Take a walk
2 - Go for a run
3 - Close my eyes on trains and planes sometimes (to reflect - not sleep)
4 - Do manual chores around the house. When I was in high school I painted houses and recall this provided a lot of time to think since the task itself was not all consuming.
5 - Close my door
6 - re-analyze my busy to see what can be eliminated
7 - block time for reflection including a relaxation process to still my mind.
And of course I know in order to make this a good plan, I need to be more specific. How often, when, where etc. So still working on it.