How Much Do You Just Sit and Think? (& Why Should You?)
Every one of us has a favorite memory like this.
Sitting on the back porch of a cabin, sipping a fresh cup of coffee, overlooking the wooded mountains and valleys.
Relaxing on the deck of a condo, watching the waves ebb and flow, crashing and waning.
Leaning back in your office chair, playing through a scenario in your mind with all possible outcomes, reveling in your foresight.
All of these have a common denominator: peace. Some of our best moments, some of the times we've been most at peace, some of the times when we make our wisest decisions or have our greatest epiphanies come when we just sit and think.
These times of relaxation and peace are not only good for relieving stress. They're also an important piece to success.
Warren Buffett has the most popular story, perhaps because he's been debatably the most successful. By his own estimate, Buffett's spent about 80% of his career just reading and thinking. Not because he had nothing better to do, but so he could do things better.
If you're constantly doing, you're reacting to things as they come to you. You're not thinking much about what you're doing next, because you're going quickly enough that instinct takes over.
By sitting and thinking, you're taking back control. You're being proactive. You're determining your next move, rather than responding to what's already happening. Sitting and thinking enables you to slow everything down, play it back as much or as little as you need, and process.
Intentionally sitting and thinking is so powerful, in fact, that the experts recommend you take 10 hours a week to do it.
It slows everything down, ensuring you can process the day's events and thoughts. It also lets you mentally expound upon those events and thoughts, thus deepening your value and sharpening your skill sets.
It decreases stress, which improves both productivity and your ability to make good (wise) decisions. And it places you back in control of your life and responsibilities.
"Not working" might be the most important thing you can do for your career. We each need to spend time sitting and thinking - temporarily removing the outside world - so that we can do everything we need to do better. Will you make time to do things better?