Why leaders need free time for deep thinking

My client Robert was busy going nowhere.

He was drowning in a sea of emails, back-to-back meetings, performance reports and people problems. It seemed like everything was coming at him. He was just surviving the onslaught. If he kept going at this pace, he would burn out. He also had to find time to think about the strategic issues the business faced or they would show him the door.

Something had to give, so he allocated one day a week for thinking time. As a result, he needed to push more decision-making authority to his team. They learnt to appreciate that in those moments of quiet solitude Robert came up with game-changing ideas.

He was in good company. Bill Gates scheduled thinking by taking himself away to a secret location for Think Weeks, a week of seclusion where he would ponder technology trends and pass his thoughts across the Microsoft empire.

Cal Newport in his book, Deep Work, believes that many of us have lost the ability to do the deep thinking leaders need. He says that deep work is, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Instead, we are spending our days trying to keep pace with email and social media.

Robert empowered a great team to create free time for deep thinking.

🙋 How do you make time for deep thinking? 🙋

Best Regards, Brian

Originally published at https://www.donovanleadership.com on November 5, 2020.