You’re not thinking.

Bill Stainton

Focused Thinking

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You’re not thinking.

You’re not thinking.

Not really.

Most people don’t. Instead, they react. Or, at best, they regurgitate OTHER people’s thinking and conflate it with their own (nonexistent) thinking.

Okay, maybe I’m being unnecessarily harsh, but let me ask you a question. When was the last time you scheduled an uninterruptible block of time on your calendar to just THINK?

And when I talk about thinking, by the way, I’m talking about FOCUSED thinking, not just daydreaming (although that has value too).

Here’s what I mean. And I really want you to do this, starting this week. (Yeah, I know: the holidays, social obligations, the week’s already half over, etc., etc., etc. But you can do this.)

Schedule 30 minutes on your calendar as an uninterruptible appointment with yourself. During this half hour, take a pad of paper and a pen or pencil (NOT your laptop, NOT your tablet; this is an analog activity). Ideally, go someplace that is NOT where you typically work.

And now, ask yourself a single question—a question that you will FOCUS on for the next 30 minutes. A question for which you will come up with at least ten answers (20 is better).

What’s the question?

I dunno. You have to decide that for yourself. But make it a question that will move a needle for you, either personally or professionally. For example:

    • How might I improve my customers’ experience by 10% in the next 30 days?

    • What are some lessons I can take from the Marvel Universe and apply to my own business?

    • How can I “surprise and delight” my customers (and/or my partner) every month in 2024?

    • What could I learn in the next 90 days that would significantly improve my business/my leadership/my relationship/etc.?

    • What conversations could I have in the next 30 days—with people I already know who have different skillsets and areas of expertise than I do—that would move the needle for me?

Ideally, you would schedule a 30-minute block once a week, with a different question each week.

Can you see the difference this could make in your world?

YOUR TURN: What are some other great FOCUS questions for a “thinking block”?

Share the knowledge!