For goodness sake, let yourself think

You feel guilty reading this, don’t you?

It’s not on the crisis list, the critical list or even the urgent list. You’ve GOT TO GO…

Hang on, Gandhi said, “there is more to life than increasing its speed.”

 In the old days we waited at the bank, stood and watched the kettle boil and doodled while we waited for the dentist to call us in.

Today we’ve got even more work to do. Our microwave society has eliminated downtime to help us cram more in.

If we think we’ve got a few minutes to spare, we open up our mobile office and start responding away.

Do you feel your stomach clutching, just reading that?

People today seem to feel guilty allowing themselves a few minutes to think. When did that happen? When did it become expected that you had to respond and couldn’t let your mind wander. Ponder.

When’s the last time you pondered?

There’s a belief that unanswered emails, phone calls or text mean you aren’t working… or working hard enough.

However, it seems acceptable to be in a meeting for two hours that covers about 20 minutes of material. No one questions why you were out of pocket and what exactly you achieved.

You can duck into an edit suite and spend 30 minutes trying to make the work just a bit better and you feel no guilt at all when you get back to your desk.

But give yourself 15 minutes to walk to lunch, or have 10 minutes free before a meeting, and you’ll have a phone in each hand and be trying to email with your elbow.

That constant response mode allows no time to think.

Great creative thinking occurs when you let your mind wander. If you only let yours loose when you have no network reception, you’re bound to be frustrated.

While multitasking has become the norm, new research in the US shows that it cuts your productivity and increases stress. So what can you do?

Gandhi also said “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble”

Of course, Gandhi didn’t have a smart phone.

When is it ok to just think? In the shower? While driving? Is that where you have your best ideas?

If your conviction is to think creatively, to come up with original, unique, unprecedented ideas, then you’ll have to take time to ponder.

Steal those moments back. Walk to lunch, doodle in the waiting area. Allow a bit of time for your creativity. Then enjoy the surprise of your ingenious thinking.

As I finished writing this, I saw an ad from Off Road Safety in Perth. It speaks to the same idea and thought you might enjoy it.


  1. I find that a certain amount of “couch potato” time, where I am not required to accomplish anything meaningful is essential to health in body, mind and spirit.
    To think, to dream, to ponder…..

  2. I agree and have always liked this quote by Carl Sandburg ‘ Nothing happens unless first we dream’. This puts a new perspective on daydreaming in class!….great video too
    Ocean Wave

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