One of the things we, as business owners and founders, seldom do is give ourselves time to think.
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.” — Henry Ford
But thinking is what drives our businesses forward. We don’t often enough give ourselves the time, space and permission to really think. We get caught up in the day to day management, emergencies and the urgencies of others. We get held up by the interruptions and the road blocks, both internal and external. We can lose site of the forest for the trees.
Execution is, no doubt, a huge challenge for many founders. We have many ideas and sometimes jump from project to project without completing one before moving on the next. But regular thinking can help with prioritization and execution, too.
Sasha Strauss challenges us to take time to process (at 17:10 in the video). Our brains need it. The thoughts will come. This video is very worth the time (and the thoughts that will come with and from it).
From Sasha’s Video:
The Chance to Process
Meditation is another way to get your thoughts going. Many think of meditation as achieving something. But Ajahn Sumedho said, “Just be the observer of whatever is. Right now the mood is ‘this’, ‘I feel this’. Just be aware whether you are confused, indifferent, happy, sad, uncertain or whatever. Be that which allows things to be what they are.” Exploring this awareness can sometimes lead to a clarity that can help us move to the next thought.
And the reason we need to think and make decisions around our businesses, is that few others are going to. Our team members will work on their parts, their specialties, their areas of expertise. Our team members don’t have the same perspective. They look to us for the context and bigger picture. We need the time, space and perspective to process and be able to deal with the things that are coming at us.
Give yourself permission to let thoughts come and go, understanding that they are only thoughts. Don’t judge yourself. And don’t judge others as these thoughts pass through. And ask ‘what else?’. Asking ‘what else’ 3 to 5 times, or even more, after the first thought, the first question, the first answer will help you to explore your thoughts and the possibilities.
Take time out from the office, away from your home, where you aren’t talking to anyone else. Turn off your computer, TV and radio. Put your phone away, silence it, and turn off your notifications for a few minutes. Go to a place where you think best, your bike, the coffee shop, sitting in the woods or at the beach, or a pub. Give yourself permission to be there, alone. And just think. If you accept this challenge, and stick to it a few times, you will find that many of the ideas you need, the things that must come first, the breakthrough you’ve been looking for, will come.
Bradley Raider discusses more on meditation for those interested.
Referenced above: Don’t Take Your Life Personally, Ajahn Sumedho