Make time for think time

“Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.” — Plato

Our thoughts are the foundation of all our actions. In order for our work to be productive and creative, our thoughts need to be in order. This can be a real challenge as gathering the thoughts in your mind is near impossible without dedicating think time out of your busy routine.

It’s time to make time for think time. Here are some ideas.

1. Tired mind equals tired ideas

Do everything you can to get enough sleep. Switch off devices, television, lights and all other distractions at least half an hour before going to bed. The hardest thing in the world is to put your smartphone in another room for the night, so I suggest you start by just switching it off. Use a traditional alarm clock to wake up in the morning.

2. Care for your body

Your exercise time can be used to process and gather your thoughts. Try a 15-minute walk three times a week and build up to a 30-minute walk every day. Healthy food also helps your brain to thrive. Reduce sugar and carbs and increase protein and fats.

3. Be ruthless with entertainment or distractions

Limit social chatting to lunch time and tea breaks. Switch off the television for a set period of time each night and use that time for writing down ideas and goals. Limit your time on social media and use this saved time to process your ideas.

4. Wake up early

Wake up half an hour earlier each day. If you’re a morning person this should be easy. Use this quiet time to think, plan and process. Have a cup of coffee and enjoy your think time!

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.” — Henry Ford

5. Schedule it in

If you can’t manage any of the above, schedule think time into your calendar. This one is my favourite as I’m a list person and love scheduling tasks into my calendar. Once scheduled, stick to it!

6. Make it a habit

Think time should become a habit and part of your daily routine. Anything that is a habit will become automatic and easy—just like brushing your teeth.

7. Close the door

No matter where your think time happens you need to do it alone. Close the door. Lock it. Barricade it. Do not open it (unless there’s a fire). If you’re accustomed to receiving lots of phone calls, divert your phone to your secretary or to voicemail during think time. No excuses.

In conclusion

There are many ways to make time for think time. I’ve only suggested these seven ways to help you get started.

One of the reasons business owners or managers often struggle—or fail—is their lack of reflection. They don’t allow time for their thoughts to mature and their actions to spring from sound ideas.

Allow your business to grow by giving your brain time to rejuvenate and focus, and then, perhaps, it will surprise you with fresh, new ideas.

“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” — Lao Tzu

Integrity is…

What is integrity? I’ve thought long and hard about this question over the last few weeks, and read and researched many definitions. I’ve now made my own decision and here it is:

Integrity is when what you say and what you do matches. Integrity is the opposite of hypocrisy.

There it is! It’s not much, yet it’s so much, and it’s just an everyday girl’s opinion.

According to Google, integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles”, as quoted from Wikipedia:

“Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to uphold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.”

This first definition is what I don’t agree with completely. I feel that this is the definition of character not of integrity.

Someone could have one moral view that is not the same as another’s view, yet both could have integrity—their deeds match their words—even if their moral “truth” differs.

I tend to agree with Wikipedia’s second definition of integrity:

“In ethics, integrity is regarded by many people as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can stand in opposition to hypocrisy, in that judging with the standards of integrity involves regarding internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding within themselves apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.”

This may not seem to be practical strategic advice for your business, however somehow I felt it mattered.

How you show integrity in business, or at work, matters just as much as how you execute a well-thought-out business plan. Both require thought, word and deed, and both become defining traits of their subject.

Here is a link to a white paper on the subject of integrity in C-level executives. This may encourage you to think about integrity and how necessary it is in business.

The Irony of Integrity – A Study of the Character Strengths of Leaders by William A. Gentry, Kristin L. Cullen, and David G. Altman

What is digital leadership?

“To be a digital leader you need to not only excel at every discipline touched by digital within your organisation but also set an example to other organisations and individuals who are struggling with digital transformation themselves.”

Christopher Ratcliff, editor of Search Engine Watch, discusses some worthwhile, though somewhat simplistic, ideas about digital leadership.

He does make some good points, however, and I like these few excerpts:

“There needs to be full understanding of exactly what digital can do for the entire organisation and its customers, and this can only come about through education and training. The whole team needs to be on board, right from the upper echelons of the C-suite to your intern that started a week ago.”

“Digital Leadership doesn’t only have to come from within. A digital leader for you can be a brand, a business or a person operating on the other side of the world, in a totally different industry, who you feel inspired by.”

“A true digital leader will also help those companies that are struggling with the demands of digital change.”

Check it out here: What is digital leadership?