In everyone’s life, there shall be time to relax, time to rest – and indeed, time to think. Unfortunately, in the lives of many employees, particularly Americans, many people do not have time for themselves. As written in an article for 20 Something Finance, there are reasons for lack of personal time. These reasons include work-life imbalance and large percentages of Americans working well over 40 hours per week.
That said, the hamster wheel of life has become an automated ordeal set to high speeds. Though still, people must run the track, but faster than before. I define this as a marathon without an end – so consequently, burnout is the dreaded theme of our time.
In the digital age of speed before quality, many people do not make time for themselves. As discussed in the apparent rise of artificial communication, the swift go go go flow of society has further influenced people to engage in digital communication vs. heartfelt communication. Why? Well, because of convenience. It’s quicker to text or DM vs. making time to meet in person or expend several minutes on the phone. And for these reasons, people have bought into the idea that there isn’t time for heartfelt-meaningful communication.
As burnout and lack of time management skills foil human progress, lo and behold, many people do not have or make time to think. Sure, from the moment we awake until the moment we fall asleep, everyone is thinking. From the clothes we’ll wear, foods we’ll eat or moves we’ll make, each of us is thinking non-stop about an amalgam of different things.
But how many people engage in routine high-quality thinking? This involves time set aside for – let’s call it – mandatory mental maintenance.
High-Quality Think Time and what it means to Me
On many nights when fatigue settled in and I decided to call it quits for the day, I enjoyed listening to music – it was like an evening routine. I’d lay in bed, lighthearted and relaxed while feeding my ears a mix of songs from different genres. This was my way to decompress to regroup for the upcoming day.
My adherence to this routine lasted for several years, as the results worked wonders to ease my spirit. But as of lately, I’ve put down the iPod in favor of making time to assuage my mind via routine mental maintenance, AKA High-Quality Thinking.
For myself and others, while in less chaotic environments, we think better. And while the mornings are reasonably tranquil, I’ve found the quiet stillness of the night to induce deeper thinking. I’ve also found the quiet-stillness of the night to provide a sedative ambiance for relaxation post the laborious efforts of the day. So, during this chosen juncture of the 24-hour cycle, for 30 minutes or more, I use the time to think as in: remember, conceive and purge specific ideas and thoughts from the brain.
Remember. During the mild aura of each night, I’ve managed to vividly recapture some of my best and worst moments as they pertain to current situations. As for the best, remembrance of good times serves as an essential reminder that life is and will be good. As for the bad, remembrance of my worst experiences reminds me of hard lessons learned and necessary caution to dodge past mistakes.
Conceive. Without worry or attention allotted towards other activities, the calm ambiance of the night allows me to free up cap space in my head. The result is an unprecedented concentration towards an objective or concept.
Purge. My designated time to think has given me the latitude to purge. All grudges or memories that no longer serve a purpose are dead weight, thence tossed into the ether.
Everyone, this is how I use my downtime to service my brain for routine mental maintenance. Collectively, this process is therapeutic and necessary for cerebral upkeep. Though aside from maintenance and therapy, high-quality thinking serves another purpose .
High-Quality Think Time: A difference maker between average and exceptional
Life is always happening. There’s always something going on, and in some instances, we must face a myriad of challenges concurrently. In those moments, it’s often difficult to make time or take time to realize all that’s going on, let alone successfully process the various happenings in our lives.
Consequently, under the coercion of such torment, the quality of our output takes a huge hit. Yes, pressure creates diamonds, and there are people who, like my friend Beatriz Martinez, work well under stress. But the reality is this: all ideas and ventures require much planning and thought.
Right now, I’d like you to pick the first successful company that comes to mind. Regarding your pick, things did not happen overnight. Undoubtedly, its founder(s) did not, in a frantic-hurried fashion, create the blueprint for their companies.
With respect to success, there was a lot of pain before joy. Pain as in many pressure-filled moments and sleepless nights for CEO’s. Though still, apart from the early planning, the headaches, and struggles, good leaders and visionaries will make time for high-quality thinking.
According to an article written for Inc, Warren Buffet has spent 80% of his career thinking. Other high-profile CEO’s such as Tim Armstrong of AOL, Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn and Bill Gates also make time for elongated routine thinking sessions. Not only are these men practitioners of high-quality thinking, but they’re champions for this thought process regimen.
And rightly so, as Buffet, Armstrong, Weiner, and Gates each understand that hard work alone doesn’t suffice to achieve exceptional glory. For this reason, among others, they routinely devote time to think and plan for optimal results. Who could argue against them? Per the accomplishments of these CEO’s, the proof is in the pudding – in their legacies – and their bank accounts.
I must say this: its true that in business and in life we can’t predict everything that will go wrong. Yet if we make time to plan and think, we could mitigate such risks. All in all, high quality thinking is one of ways to stay ahead of the curve while staying on top of your game in the pursuit for exceptional results.
High-Quality Think Time and what it could mean for YOU.
Earlier I questioned the number of people who engage in routine high-quality thinking. I chronicled what high-quality thinking means to me, my routine, as well as the benefits of this practice. I also shared what high-quality thinking means for some of the most successful people on the planet, and why they champion this thought process. Now, I’d like to discuss what high quality think time could mean for you.
One of the stigmas attached to introverts is that “we spend too much time in our heads”. I can agree with this, but also, look at the upside to such activity. Throughout this post, I’ve championed the importance of making time to think. Remember, Warren Buffet has spent a whopping 80% of his career thinking! That’s amazing, but only when high-quality thinking revolves around an objective for progress, as is the case for Mr. Buffet.
The utility of High-Quality thinking, as with any other practice for betterment, must be attached to an end goal or purpose. I’ve gone on record stating that money isn’t the only thing that makes our world go ‘round. If you reexamine the three facets of my high-quality thinking sessions, two-thirds of my process revolves around goals that have nothing to do with monetary gain.
Your goal, be it to make sense of your chaotic world, or to become efficient in your activities for progress, is your meaning of high-quality think time.
“High quality think time means peace and happiness because I use it to escape the madness in my daily routine.”
“High think time means better grades and a shot at the dean’s list because I’ve used it to better manage all of my priorities as a full-time student and full-time employee.”
Purpose is everything – without it, we’d have nothing to aim for, thus zero aspirations to evolve and grow. On this note, spend some time in your head. Make it a routine. Use your daily block of high-quality think time to remember, conceive, purge, plan and execute.
High-quality think time yields good mental health, fresh ideas and fruition for all good things yet to come. Make time and take time to harness and develop the greatness that starts within your mind.