Time to Think

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:

Permission
Celebrate
The Chance to Process
Empathize
Teach

 

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.

 

More:

Bradley Raider discusses more on meditation for those interested.

Referenced above: Don’t Take Your Life Personally, Ajahn Sumedho

 

7 thoughts on “Time to Think”

  1. Thank you Sturdy for the email and quality information!

    I agree this is an area that needs more attention, for us to allow ourselves to think, reflect, and work ON the business vs working IN the business only.

    I appreciate your past coaching about encouraging me to take time, give myself permission to step out and pause and reflect.

    Much appreciation,

  2. I haven’t been alone, without distraction of one form or another in years. I will try this exercise and see what happens.

  3. Sturdy,
    Great info! Sasha crushes it and really gets you thinking. Time to re-evaluate things and “Take Time To Process” Thx for sharing this awesome content!

  4. Very glad you have all enjoyed it! It’s one of those things we don’t give ourselves enough of. And it’s sorely needed to move any business forward.

  5. I don’t think that often. I am to busy doing. I falsely believe that thinking time could have been spent getting more done. Need to fix that.

  6. I forgot what I was thinking about…My phone buzzed. My receptionist had a question. A staff needed me. Facebook Messenger beeped. A calendar ‘to do’ alert popped up. The game score alert interrupted me. My dog texted me. Instagram alert that someone liked my pic beeped. Twitter alert pinged me that someone shared my tweet which was a retweet of a retweet. I sat to think and my activity monitor watch told me to get up and move. What was it I was thinking about?

  7. Timely information in the age of electronic distractions. Crazy and sad that we need a reminder to stop and think. Thank you.

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