Pause for Thought

Crabapple Tree in Autumn

When is your best thinking time? There’s a question isn’t it! How many of us actually allow ourselves time to think about the bigger picture for our business?

I find going for a brisk walk works wonders for me. As I write this, walking alongside a local reservoir, some of the sounds I hear are geese taking flight for their migration for the winter. As they take flight, so does my imagination, and I get ideas flying around inside my head. It’s not the first time I’ve experienced this. Communing with nature while exercising my legs is a great way for me to get away from the computer screen, the day-to-day activity, the hurly-burly of the office, and just think freely about the bigger picture. Does it always work? No, but it works more often than not, probably due to the improved physiognomy.

I would suggest that if you find what works for you, with regular training you too can make sure that your brain gets used to it. You can make this a habitual exercise of your brain, to switch on the creative juices whenever you are doing that activity. When might work for you? For some it could be to strap a dictation microphone onto their head when they’re exercising in the gym. (I know other people who use that time to learn, by listening to podcasts and so on, or the audio track of a webinar. That’s fine, it’s more productive use of their time rather than just mindless music. However, maybe that is the appropriate opportunity for you to think.) Perhaps you don’t regularly exercise in the gym, but I would certainly recommend you not only discover what works to help your creative juices flow, but I’d also recommend you do this in relative privacy.

I know that walking along the track around the reservoir is not deserted. While there are other people, they are used to people seemingly talking to themselves, using mobile ‘phone headsets with a microphone dangling down somewhere. So it doesn’t seem so very strange to them, and in any case they’ve gone past in next to no time, so that’s never a problem. Whereas sat in the middle of a crowded commuter train may not be ideal, apart from which capturing your thoughts and ideas may be more of a challenge above the general background noise, mechanical noises and/or announcements that break-in every so often.

Why should you take time out to think like this? If you don’t, how else will you create that space. How else will you have these revelationary insights, about what you should be doing with your business, the goals you wish to set? It doesn’t matter how, if these sessions give you the desired outcome, so you get what you want to see achieved recorded, in some way, shape or form. Refer back to these records/recordings, allow your subconscious mind to work on it and help you find solutions; if only by identifying that someone you meet can help you achieve that desired outcome, because they have a skill set that you don’t, but which, when harnessed with your thinking and your internal know-how will create a positive, lasting result for your business.

Many of us imbued with a strong work ethic may struggle to overcome Presentism, the state of mind which regards being at our place of work for every nominal working hour as mandatory. If that’s you, consider the case of visiting a key customer; you’re away from your desk, in working hours, but that’s alright. It’s not wrong to use the golf course as a sales occasion, during working hours, is it? So why not allow yourself the licence to think up potentially more important opportunities, off-site during working hours?

I’ll tell you what, this thinking lark has a lot going for it. It might be you come up with creative ideas for promotion of your business, or you get ideas for a blog like I just did. Get it recorded, note it, examine it later to assess its value. Sometimes you’ll come up with such off the wall ideas it’s never going to work. Okay, some you win some you lose. But it might just be that the totally off the wall idea today becomes your next major revenue stream in three years time. Wouldn’t that be good? So please don’t dismiss anything; log it, monitor it and then measure it and assess it.

Well now, if we are going to have these thinking sessions, I bring you back to my first question: Where and when do you do your thinking? It does make you think, doesn’t it!

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