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Success Secret 3: Practice the Thinking Time Rule

Written by Linda Rolf on 3/12/2019 and updated 3/13/2019

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3.  Give Yourself Permission to Pause

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

--- Yogi Berra

Somewhere in our growing up, we were sold the well-intended but utterly nonsensical notion that idle is bad and busy is good. Staring out the window was the mark of the motivationally deprived.

Productivity and efficiency have become benchmarks for doing more in less time with fewer resources. Measuring the creative output that comes from mind wandering is rarely effective in the moment. But this doesn’t mean that we should sacrifice thinking for results we can see right now.

When you feel your laser-focus fading after a long period of time, simply step away. Take a walk. Do something that is unrelated to what has absorbed your undivided attention.

Warren Buffett and his longtime business partner Charlie Munger both practice the Thinking Time Rule.

"Neither Warren nor I is smart enough to make the decisions with no time to think," Munger once told a reporter. "We make actual decisions very rapidly, but that's because we've spent so much time preparing ourselves by quietly sitting and reading and thinking."

Inspired creativity is an asset that should be as valued and rewarded as immediate productivity. Many of the greatest discoveries were the result of a wandering mind asking “what if”.

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Practice the Thinking Time Rule

Make a list of three resets that recharge you.

Why are you energized afterwards?

Add each of these to your calendar. Remember, "too busy" is not an option any longer so make this commitment to yourself.

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From My Reading Collection. You Might Like Them Too

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

Jump ahead to all 8 Successful Secrets For Getting Things Done

I hope you enjoyed your snack!

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Tags: productivity, efficiency, getting things done, creativity, thinking

Linda Rolf is a lifelong curious learner. She is fueled by discovering the unexpected connections among technology, data, information, people and process. For more than four decades, Linda and Quest Technology Group have been their clients' trusted advisor and strategic partner. They actively contribute to each client's success through mutual collaboration, thoughtful business analysis, enterprise software development, technology integration, database design and management, opportunity discovery, business growth strategy, and marketing initiatives.

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