One recent Saturday, I received an email late at night from my friend who is a professor at Melbourne University.
Knowing he is a social character, I sent a text indicating I thought he would be out having fun. His reply was "Ha, yes was listening to music and thinking".
It made me question how many people set aside dedicated time just for thinking.
When I have a busy week ahead, I will sit in the lounge chair on the Sunday night and think my way through the coming week.
Not only do I gain a clearer sense of purpose of what I have to achieve, I also fine tune my time management.
This gives me an increased level of confidence and motivation as well. Quite often I find a way to insert a couple of extra tasks, which can be both a good and - at times - a not so good thing.
Much of my best thinking is when I am in bed, physically relaxed, no sound, a darkened room and no distractions to my thoughts.
The problem with this is I am thinking when I should be resting my brain and sleeping. Some of this thinking needs to be written down so on goes the light and I then realise I have been thinking for hours. Little wonder I start the following day feeling tired.
Thinking is an essential part of an improved life and business, but when overthinking, real issues can arise. I believe a lot of mental health problems are a result of overloading minds with negative thoughts.
There is an old saying that states "nothing is either good nor bad it is only our thinking that makes it so".
Therefore, we need to ensure we adopt the best paradigm for doing our thinking.
Strategic, tactical and operational decisions all require dedicated high-quality thinking to ensure the best outcomes.
A lot of people have a set pattern of thinking, yet we need to have the ability to change the way we think to suit the problem.
Most of us need to engage in conversation with another to bring this change about.
Understanding if we are left or right brain thinkers can help in deciding if we need outside help. I am a very left-brain person so doing spreadsheets and numbers is my game.
As a consultant I have had the ability to develop the right or creative side of my brain to a moderate degree but I still benefit from mixing and discussing things with right brain people.
A consulting firm with multiple staff usually benefit by ensuring they have a mix of left and right brain people.
We all suffer from the fact many times "we don't know that we don't know" - this is not ignorance, but we cannot get the best answers if we are unaware of the existence of better ways or ideas.
It is the ideas we come up with ourselves by building on the thoughts and thinking of others that give us a lot of management pleasure.
Thinking can only do so much, it is the injection of new ideas and approaches that widens our blinkers and gives us many and better options.