There’s always something to do. Always a way to occupy your mind.
A screen is always within reach. A source of information. Something to start the thoughts.
But when was the last time you let them flow in on their own?
I went for a walk today and listened to an audiobook called Leap First by Seth Godin. It’s a short listen but worth it. It’s about showing up to work on the thing you know you should be working on. Seth mentions Neil Gaiman numerous times throughout the book. And one part especially stands out to me.
Gaiman has written many popular books. Some you may have read. Some you may have seen as a TV show or movie.
So what do you think his secret was when Seth asked him?
“I let myself get really bored, bored to a point where all I can do is write.”
That’s it. Gaiman’s secret is he spends a lot of time sitting round.
Why’s this valuable?
Because when you let your mind wander, the thoughts will start to come in. Many of them won’t be worth listening to. Listening to the right ones is a skill. All skills require practice.
“Yeah but I don’t have time to sit round.”
If you don’t have time, you’re probably someone who could benefit from doing nothing for a little. When was the last time you gave yourself a chance to think?
Of course, the work will never get done by sitting round. But stopping to reflect may change the what the work is.