How to Implement Think Space Without Thinking
Do you realize how little the average person actually takes time to think? I don’t mean for a for a moment but for an extended period of time.
How rare we say, “Let me think about that” and not only do we actually think about it, but we have the space to actually think it through.
Most people don’t think because of one or more of the following excuses I mean reasons:
it requires time
it requires focus
Think Space is a new concept for most people.
Think Space defined – dedicated time to develop and process key ideas and concepts
Another way of looking at Think Space is as an “Idea Formulator”. This isn’t just for creative people brainstorming. It’s YOU time to think through what is important to you.
We seem to schedule almost everything else but not time to formulate our thoughts.
This is a solvable problem, planning fans.
Here is How to Implement Think Space Without Thinking (because the plan is laid out before you…)
1. What To Do Before Think Space
- Find and Schedule the Time
What gets scheduled gets done. Since it’s a new habit, it MUST be scheduled to have a chance of taking root in your routine.
Look at your existing schedule and determine natural windows:
My wife has a Bible Study at our house every Monday night. Once the kids go to bed, I have a a full hour to myself to either watch TV or… seize this perfect Think Space window as an ideal and natural time for me.
I also have 8 hours of drive time every other weekend which could be a huge disadvantage or a blessing depending upon how I use that time. I choose to use it as my long stretch of Think Space and can get SO much thinking time in with this natural Think Space opportunity for me.
The key is finding a few dedicated minutes that you can literally “be alone with your thoughts”.
Start with just 15 minutes. See what that time can do for you after implementing the concepts then you can adjust.
IF you truly do what is suggested, you will be looking at ways in your schedule to increase this coveted time.
The key is finding and scheduling the time first and foremost.
- Prepare for the Time in Advance
I’ve wasted more time when Think Space is available because I was simply unprepared in two key areas:
1. concepts to think through – I now have the time and couldn’t really think of what I wanted to spend this time on
2. means of recording it – If and when an idea would come, I had no where to record it and had to leave it to my memory. Guess where THAT idea ended up..?
These are solvable issues when you prepare in advance.
When I know I’m going somewhere that I’m going to wait, I always plan ahead and bring a clipboard, blank paper, and a few fine-tipped colored pens. I then label the Think Space topic at the top of the page.
If I end up waiting unexpectedly, I have an Evernote specific note for Think Space that I have ideas and can record them anywhere.
- Create the Right Environment
You know what distracts you so do what you need to do to make the most of this time.
This is absolutely key. You want to keep your mind in the thinking zone so definitely remove email, text, and phone alerts at a minimum.
You also know when the environment is advantageous for thinking.
Do you need quiet?
Headphones to either knock out the sound or for a certain type of music?
If I can control my environment, I sit in my office at a mechanical drawing board with paper and colored pens, look out a window, and get lost in thought. It’s my perfect environment.
Other times at the airport (which often gives me the gift of unexpected windows of extra time with delays), I put on my Bose noise-canceling headphones, pull out my clipboard with white paper and colored pens, and maximize whatever additional time given to me to think.
Think Space will change your attitude on waiting if you learn to make the most of the time.
- Think / Write
This is the ACTUAL TIME to develop these thoughts that are dying to come out and take them some where!
Harry A. Overstreet once said, “The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through.”
This is the time to really work through whatever you chose to think through with a mature mind.
It will require motivation and discipline but yields incredible results.
But what do you think about during Think Space and make the most of the time?
2. What To Think About During Think Space
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” – James Allen
What a motivating quote to think on the things that will bring you a better tomorrow! Here are some ideas:
What do I want to accomplish in the next 90 days? What are my yearly goals? Do you want to write a book? Run a 10K?
- Big Decisions
Do we move? Do I take this job offer? Should I change careers?
- Your Future (looking forward)
What changes do you want to make in your life?
- Evaluation (looking backward)
Did I accomplish my goals? How did your presentation go? Workouts?
- Think about what to think about
As odd as that sounds, use Think Space as a road map of what ideas you want to formulate or thoughts you want to develop. You will be surprised at the results if you take the time.
Then write your ideas to think about for future Think Space.
3. What To Do After Think Space
- Find a centralized place to keep your notes from your Think Space session
Nothing worse than finally have a great idea and now it’s gone. And you even wrote it down but now you cannot find it. Talk about maddening!
Learn to keep all of your Think Space results in a centralized location that has easy access.
For me, since I like to handwrite my ideas, I take a picture of them then upload them to Evernote. This way I have access to them on all of my devices (MacBook, iMac, iPad, iPhone, etc)
- Take Action!
J. Jacobson once said, “A good idea is like a wheelbarrow; it goes nowhere unless you push it.”
Many of my ideas from Think Space have actionable items so I need to either schedule or follow-up with the next step.
Don’t lose the momentum by failing to take action. Let your next action item be the last thing you do during your Think Space time.
In the End…
Think Space must become a habit to be fully utilized. It’s a gift I give to myself at least once a week and I’m always SO charged after this time.
This is when you as a motivated, busy professionals truly escape your average and grow into the person you ultimately want to become.
Creating and implementing Think Space will become the means to this end.
But this requires two specific things of you: TIME and THOUGHT.
This seemingly simple discipline can be a game changer for you. It has for me. Two tangible ways? This website. This post.
Are you up for the challenge of Think Space?
Schedule 15 minutes this week for your first Think Space. Take the ideas in this post to maximize this time.