In today’s distracted world, there are so many things that take up our time. TV shows, podcasts, books, music, movies, etc. All have an important place in our society and as such often take up a lot of our free time; sometimes even encroaching on our work time as well.
However, there is something that should get more dedicated time than most people do. That is time to simply think.
Strangely enough I’ve seen a few posts go up about the importance of thinking time recently, such as this one by M.G. Siegler. But I think it’s something that needs iterating.
Everyone should take intentional time to take a step away from distracting our conscious minds with input and take the time to think. It’s important because taking the time to think consciously will help with quite a few things, including increasing your problem solving skills, absorb learnings, and also ensure everything is ticking on nicely in our heads.
For problem solving skills, I’ve found that it often falls into three main steps, first there is the gathering of all the relevant information, which then you let sit in your subconscious for a while as it teases apart the information and recombines it in many different ways, and finally you take the time to bring it back up to the conscious level. Taking the time to think give you practice at pulling those ideas from your subconscious to tackle problems in new ways.
In regard to learning, thinking about what you have learned is a great way to ensure your understanding is solid. I can strongly suggest thinking of a subject like you were teaching it to someone, taking advantage of the protégé effect by yourself. Of course teaching someone is a better way of reinforcing knowledge but we aren’t always in a position to tech people about the subjects we want to learn.
Finally, it is always a good idea to do a checkin with yourself every now and then. In the paste, I’ve found myself distracting myself from my feelings by keeping myself entertained. Long term this can have a detrimental effect on our psychology. It’s never good to hide from our emotions for a long time.
There are many other great reasons to take time to think everyday, whether it’s on the walk from the train station to work, on a run, or simply while you sit down for a coffee. I hope you all take the time to let yourself simply think today.