Thinking quality determines action quality and outcome | Sunday Observer

Thinking quality determines action quality and outcome

Instead of rushing to get to work, how much could we accomplish by simply being alone with our thoughts. Pic: Courtesy trainingzone.co.uk
Instead of rushing to get to work, how much could we accomplish by simply being alone with our thoughts. Pic: Courtesy trainingzone.co.uk

How many people do budget serious thinking time on their calendar to think a fresh, strategically and differently in a borderless manner? Don’t we work on a budget for every other activity? Why is this difference? Is thinking less important than action?

Do not take thinking for granted. Scheduling a time to think on a regular basis can change your life. Leave aside you being a leader or a follower in the work place, as an ordinary human being too; you can never act in a way that is bigger or better than your thoughts.

Dedicating time to thinking allows your thoughts to unfold, and it helps you manifest what you want. We all know that the actions you take come from your thinking. What you think and focus on drives your reality.

That is why it is so important to take the time to think. Everything from quality of life, to work, relationships and health are all based on the quality of the thinking you have. You don’t spend nearly enough time simply thinking. Before you take offense to that statement, consider how much time you spend talking, responding to e-mail, even reading—my guess is that you spend more time doing any one of them than you do thinking. Why do so many people claim they have had some stroke of genius while in the shower? It’s because they’re alone with their thoughts for about 10 minutes without a phone, a computer, or a book.

And according to those who have achieved more from a shower than just cleansing their bodies, that’s all it took for them come up with a great idea that’s going to make a difference.

Multi-tasking

We’re stuck in a society in which ADD has become the norm. We can’t entirely focus on anything for more than short periods of time. We’re self-described multitaskers. We don’t do one thing at a time — we do two or three things at the same time. And we brag about it! We consider ourselves the models of efficiency.

We talk on the phone while we drive. We read a book while we exercise. We respond to e-mail while in a meeting. We even play games on our phones while watching TV. We’re connected to our devices 24/7.

So how much uninterrupted time do you spend each day simply thinking? I’m willing to bet it’s not much and certainly not enough. You need time to digest all the information you access using that technology. You need to find a way to avoid those things—both self-inflicted and caused by others — that interrupts your ability to find quiet time to think. Take 30 minutes either first thing in the morning or last thing at night to be alone with your thoughts. Often we busy ourselves with things to do from the minute we wake up in the morning until we turn off the lights at night. Most of us either watch TV or read in bed until the lights go out and we fall asleep.

Then we wake up in the morning already on the run. How fast can you get showered, grab tea or coffee, and get to the office where all those distractions are? Instead of rushing out of the door to get to work, how much could be accomplished by simply being alone with your thoughts.

Or instead of watching late-night TV until you fall asleep, lie there and consider everything you’ve done and learned that day and plan for the following day.

It really doesn’t matter how or where you do it, but you must find ways to take the time to think. If not, you spend your entire day doing and reacting, without much thought to the value of those activities.

Your actions should be intentional and purposeful. For that to happen, you must take the time to be alone with your thoughts, work through issues and contemplate the best course of action.

You need quiet time to allow that to happen. Often our best ideas - those rare but often inspiring aha moments - have occurred after spending hours together working on a project or at a team meeting or in some sort of free time where thinking is the only thing you can do due to physical barriers. But often they’re unpredictable.

Most successful people - whether they’re start-up entrepreneurs or corner office senior executives - know that if they don’t carve out time to think, they’ll lose perspective and fail to make smart decisions that can guide their company over the long-term. 

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