Start Doing Stealth Thinking
A few days ago I posted 'To innovate, first you need to think'. While I'm a strong advocate of workplace downtime, not everyone works for an enlightened organisation.
Your organisation may not proactively encourage mindfulness, innovation time or thinking time - but that doesn't mean you can't integrate some stealth thinking into your workday:
- Resist the urge to respond immediately. You're not on a game show. If you can, ask for time to think before responding. If that's not possible, at least take time to breathe before speaking.
- Capitalise on boredom. Don't doodle or write out your grocery list when you're not engaged in a meeting or presentation. Think through a problem. Come up with multiple solutions.
- Don't readily agree (even if you think you do). Rather than nod in agreement ask a few more questions. Dig in a little deeper.
- Be your own devil's advocate. Just when you think you know the answer to something look at it from an alternate view.
- Go for a walk. If you don't want to get caught 'daydreaming' take a stroll - it's socially acceptable to let your thoughts wander as long as your feet are moving.
When you realising you're working on auto-pilot it's time to re-engage your mind.