Monday, June 9, 2014

Have You Scheduled Time to Think Lately?

How often do you look at your calendar and feel overwhelmed by the meetings that take over your day? Do you ever wish you could ignore your phone and email for the day to try to get a few simple tasks completed?  

Due to everyone’s overscheduled day and the constant bombardment of calls, emails, texts, instant messages, LinkedIn messages, and tweets (you get the picture…), there is a shortage of time to think creatively and strategically about one’s business. In response to this struggle, Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, purposefully schedules time in his calendar to think. He describes this tactic as his “single most important productivity tool”. 

In an article in Fast Company, Weiner explains that “as [a] company grows larger…[it] will require more time than ever before to just think: Think about what the company will look like in three to five years; think about the best way to improve an already popular product or address an unmet customer need; think about how you can widen a competitive advantage or close a competitive gap, etc.”  
Weiner states that his “thinking time” involves:

Uninterrupted focus;
Thoroughly developing and questioning assumptions;
Synthesizing all of the data, information, and knowledge that’s incessantly coming your way;
Connecting dots;
Bouncing ideas off trusted colleagues; and 
Iterating through multiple scenarios.

Weiner adds, “If you don’t take time to think proactively you will increasingly find yourself reacting to your environment rather than influencing it. The resulting situation will inevitably require far more time (and meetings) than thinking strategically would have to begin with.”

 The importance of taking time to think creatively and strategically about your business is critical to its and your success. If you are bogged down in the daily monotony of your business and not thinking about its future, then who is?

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