What are you thinking?

By June 12th, 2014Business, Planning

Image credit: mgoren 

Choices, not chances, are responsible for the quality of our life. Spend time to think, reflect, introspect and then choose – Rajeev Sharma

Do you feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of knowledge and to-dos that accompany the always-on smartphone. Life today is busy! I am a multitasker, juggling my role as a mother and wife, working for clients and running my business. Activity doesn’t stop from the moment I wake up until I go to bed unless I consciously allocate some downtime.

There is always stuff to do!

Whether it is in the evening, on the weekend or just a quick cup of tea, I know my brain needs time to stop and think.

Brain researchers have discovered sets of scattered brain regions that fire in a synchronised way when people switch to a state of mental rest, such as daydreaming. These “resting-state networks” help us process our experience, consolidate memories, reinforce learning, regulate our attention and emotions, keep us productive and effective in our work and judgment, and more. It is important to recognise that giving the brain an opportunity to make sense of information, shifting off-task can help people refresh their minds when frustrated so they can return to a problem and focus better.

The Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung, identified two types of thinking – directed and non-directed (the latter originally referred to as ‘fantasy thinking’). Sigmund Freud who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis identified dreaming and day dreaming as forms of non-directed thoughts that are not bound by the ordinary constrains of reality. Non-directed thinking plays an important role in creativity and in the solutions to problems that are poorly defined. With non-directed thinking, there is no logical order to the thoughts, the thoughts are free flowing and spontaneous.

I have always like organising things including how I manage my time. Allocating time to think is a crucial part of my creative process.

Put thinking time in your calendar

It seems like the easiest thing to do, yet we often don’t make time for it. Thinking falls to the bottom of the priority list. Activities such as social media, telephones, computer and television are often substituted for free thinking time. Thinking time is a time to pause. It might be while you are doing nothing, just sitting at a bus stop or perhaps engaged in mundane activities such as taking a the shower, having breakfast, going for a run, driving to work, folding the washing or having a cup of tea.

Rethink your day and make sure you are not just doing but also allowing time to review and process information. Take your brain offline and allow yourself time to think. Let your brain have a moment to connect some dots and a chance to catch a brilliant thought.

How do you find time to think? What are your favourite thinking activities? Share them in the comments below.

Caroline Siassios

About Caroline Siassios

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