Monday, February 20, 2012

Rediscovering thinking

One of the great things about hitting the road again has been rediscovering thinking.

The expectations of working and being productive tend to lump on us the need to be think-doing certain sorts of 'productive' (aka 'busy') things.  For someone who want to get lots of things done this means I'm typically think-doing well beyond 9-5. When you have so little time outside work and life's necessities, you really need to squeeze those last couple of hours a day.  I suspect I'm not the only one who pulls out their phone whenever they have a five minute wait for the tram, so they can cram it with something useful, like checking emails, or twitter, or just mindlessly flicking through notes.

I'm still pretty busy for the time being.  I got back from Adelaide last thing Thursday, barely in time for a full weekend at Freshly Hacked, and there are lots of bits and pieces to get on to. I'm way behind regular things like the news, events, blogging and my emails.  But things are different - I feel more relaxed regardless, I feel like I have time to do things like think.

Having a lot of unstructured time gives everything a different flavour.  Especially when you can't use it for busydoing.  Being on the bike in particular is great for that.  It's always been meditative, but at the moment it is also very productively contemplative - I noted down a couple of thoughts when I stopped every hour or two, not for the sake of doing something, but because the thoughts were worth following up on.  And mostly the sorts of generative, creative or insightful thoughts that busywork prevents you from having.

What I'm getting at is the value of different ways of thinking.  We know we have different personality types, but I haven't really appreciated different ways I myself think in different contexts - probably because of an overvaluation of busythinking.

Even today, on a day of 'doing things' I've taken a much less orchestrated approach.  I'm not doing it very well yet, but I'm learning.  It's never too late!

John Baxter

1 comment:

  1. Since i've had to stop riding i notice my brain is unable to concentrate and constantly flicking about. Not good. I need to ride again. Its been 2+ years. It may be a correlation not a causation but i suspect having that lovely blank time was good for me. Driving a car is not the same.