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Alone-time Required for Creative Best

by Scot Herrick on January 12th, 2007

Presentation Zen, one of my favorite blogs, talks about the need for solitude in order to have effective presentations.

I’d agree with that. But, I’d go much further.

In today’s fast, fast, fast business climate, there has become too little time for reflection. There are lots of reasons for this, of course. Off the top of my head:

  • Too many distractions
  • Too many tasks to complete
  • Too many employees to manage
  • Too much focus on the short term
  • Too much e-mail to process
  • And others.

Thinking Time is a luxury we no longer have. The time to sit back and assess what is important is a lost art — and skill. How many people do you know who can take the time to put their feet up on their desks and just stare at their whiteboard?

In order to have the necessary thinking time, we order ourselves and/or teams off-site from the office — to get away from the interruptions, of course — and then blatently schedule ourselves in ten-minute intervals so that we can see 27-more PowerPoints about our strategies for the coming year and then get ten-minutes to take little stickies and vote on which strategy is the most important for us to work on over the coming year. And that ten-minute exercise becomes what is most important. OMG!

Yes, that was a long, ongoing sentence. Designed to convey the relentless number of tasks that get in the way of just thinking about what’s important.

I don’t know about you, but it takes a while away from it all to get to the point where I can start thinking about what needs to be done. A perspective about what is most important. I can’t do it in ten-minute sticky votes on a wall at an off-site session that is more tightly scheduled than a regular work day.

How about you?

POSTED IN: GTD, Strategy, Workplace Wellness, Survival Skills, Meeting magic, Cube life

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