Note to future self…
Having time to think and reflect about things is not only a competitive advantage but a necessary element for having a good life. This might sound obvious and it is but I believe that it’s something that’s hard to implement in your daily routine. At least this has been the case for me.
Our environment pushes us towards this go-go mode where we have all engines maxed out and we’re trying to get as much as we can done. I certainly push myself to be this way regardless of the input that I get from my environment.
Nevertheless, I’ve come to realize how important it’s to be able to put the brakes on that mode of thinking to enter “Reflective Mode” and think to yourself “ok, is this the best use of my time?”, “is there a more efficient way of doing this?”, etc. I think that this is such a hard thing to do because it’s not intuitive.
Side note: Evolutionary Explanation
I could use some evolutionary explanation to argue that when we were pursuing things or focused (e.g. when hunting or fleeing) we couldn’t stop and think about the implications of what we were doing. Although it might be tempting to go there, I don’t have the background to know whether this is true or not and it doesn’t really make a difference to my main point. I just thought it was worth mentioning(:
Productivity & Reflection Periods: A two-piston engine
I truly believe that this ability to go from “full-speed productivity” mode to a reflective state in a matter of seconds is an invaluable skill. This ability to just turn a switch and change modes can be enormously valuable because it can allow you to minimize the amount of energy you waste on full productivity mode and maximize the leverage of your actions.
I will personally start to experiment with going full-speed and just focus on work for 1-2 hours and then just stop and do some sort of reflective exercise (maybe meditation or maybe just go over a couple of questions). My hypothesis is that I might improve the quality of my work by taking the time to course-correct mid-action. This will be hard to quantify but I will try my best to report back any interesting updates.
Now back to work…