THINKING TIME. This may sound strange but bear with me.
Recently I was listening to a podcast with Keith Cunningham, who wrote The Road Less Stupid. I became OBSESSED & did a deep dive with Keith. He had so much sound advice within this small podcast ( the podcast is The One Thing ) & I loved his stoic approach to business. I found myself listening to it over & over. One thing he talked about that really resonated with me, is the power of thinking time.
So when Keith ( who has made millions of $$ by the way ) was young & cocky, he went into a business meeting with a huge oil guy. In the meeting the oil guy told Keith that he sets aside an hour for thinking time every day- from 4:30-5:30 am. He just sits there & thinks. Keith thought this was so strange & didn’t understand it. Waking up at 4:30 am was not Keith’s thing, so he set aside 5-10 minutes a day for thinking time with an exact strategy of what he would be thinking about. For instance, he would say “where are the holes in my business?” & sit there with a journal ( or not ) & just think.
In doing this for 5-10 minutes everyday for a year, Keith became a happier person & had a huge realization that thinking time was non-negotiable.
As I was listening to the podcast I realized that I spend a lot of time thinking & I haven’t done a post on it- so I thought it would be interesting to share this with you guys.
Thinking time is non-negotiable for me too. I need time to think & wrap my head around things. Whether it’s making a big business decision or thinking about my reaction to a problem, I spend time thinking. The way I think is to clean, & focus on that one problem.
Through Keith, I further realized the value of actually sitting down with a pen & paper to think. & I’ve been using The Morning Pages as extra time to really think with an actually strategy. What I mean by this is I’ll write down what my goal is. So if my goal is to find ways to improve The Skinny Confidential, I sit down & do a 3 page brain dump. Writing it out is very different than talking it out. You don’t have to write it out, you can just think, but the point here is to CALENDAR your thinking time. Start with 5-10 minutes & go from there.
If you’re just reacting to everything & not being proactive then cracks start show. I know this because for a long time I was very reactive.
For anyone not familiar with The Morning Pages:
It’s known as one of the most profound and empowering tools for cultivating creativity, personal growth, & change are the Morning Pages- this is a stream-of-consciousness style of writing that helps you basically purge your thoughts before you start your day.
Think of it as getting all your thoughts on paper before you need to tackle your to-do list.
I’m the type of person that will be legit distracted if I don’t do this in the morning. My thoughts are so chaotic & I want to get everything done that I literally can’t form sentences if I don’t write them down in the morning.
When I first started a business I did this thing ( which I still do in my Morning Pages ) called TOP 7. TOP 7 is your top 7 priorities that NEED to get done for the day. Again, I still do my TOP 7, I just do them within my Morning Pages.
You can really write whatever you want in your Morning Pages- the only catch is this: YOU HAVE TO WRITE THREE PAGES AND YOU CANNOT STOP. My pages include my to-do list, TOP 7, what’s bugging me, where I want to take my business, what I am grateful for ( I do this one everyday! ), ideas, visions, dreams, quotes, funny sayings, things my husband says to me, etc. You can have your three pages be anything you want really.
Anyways, after researching this a bunch I found that tons of successful people spend at least 10 hours a week just thinking.
Warren Buffett is a great example- if he has time to think, anyone can find time to think.
My tips are:
♡ schedule time in your calendar.
♡ don’t think in your office; do it at home where you can be alone.
♡ bring a journal.
♡ evaluate the time you spend on meetings & cut it in half.
♡ ask powerful questions to encourage deep thinking.
Would love to know if you guys put aside thinking time & as always share your tips below!
+ More posts like this can be found in the TSC Business section.