Over the past two years, the world has felt like a rat race: Meetings starting 05:00 – 06:00 almost every day (at least three times a week), near-endless emergencies and fires to put out all while stressing over the piles and piles of work on top.
Needless to say, it has been extremely difficult to feel productive in 2017 & 2018. A lot of important work has been completed… and yet it hasn’t *felt* productive – and surely hasn’t been satisfying. Why? There are several reasons, but one of the kickers is because I scratched away my time for deep thought… and as a result, deep work too.
With the recent departure from my old company, Socrates AI Inc., I found something I lost a couple years ago – the time and ability for deep thought. Deep thought is satisfying, and it’s essential for productivity (mine, anyway). There are a lot of reasons why this happened, none of which I’ll share here ;-) but the fact is that deep thought is essential for my own productivity and happiness. It cannot be foregone for large lengths of time without losing something else along the way.
What is Deep Thought?
Deep thought is taking time out of your day to focus exclusively on important thoughts and problems – past, present, and future. It’s shutting down distractions like social media, emails, and notifications for a chunk of time to reflect on what you’re working on, where you want to go and how you want to go about it. I used to do a lot of productive deep thought a few years ago, and my days then felt very productive – and also very satisfying.
A lot of Software Developers, Engineers, Artists and Creatives NEED deep thought. It’s essential. From what I’ve seen, a lot of managers and executives forget that their team also needs this deep thought to achieve deep work, to feel productive, and also to feel satisfied about their work. It’s important to give your team space to work, but it’s equally important that you give YOURSELF the space you need to think and work. You are your own manager. You are your own executive. Don’t be “that guy” or “that girl” to yourself… give yourself the time for deep thought and deep work that you and your mind crave.