014: The Art of Creating Space to Think [Podcast]

I don’t know about you, but my best ideas rarely come to me while working. My best ideas come to me when my mind has space to think. Why is that?

How to create space to think

Scott Dinsmore over at Living Your Legend says that creativity disappears the moment pressure is applied. Pressure often happens when we are in the middle of our work.

For those of us who like to “keep busy” this proves to be a challenge. So many of us have adopted the notion that super productive people burn the candles on both ends.

While taking massive action is something you ought to do, you also need to see the value in creating space to think. [Tweet That]

How to Create Space to Think


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I am going to list for you a few helpful tips to help you to create some space in your life.

1. Place a higher value on rest

Rest is not just for the weak and weary. Rest allows us to “sharpen the saw” and renew our spirit. Don’t tell yourself you have more important things to do. Thinking needs to become a priority for you.

I call this creating a sanctuary from your work. When I first started to do this it became a real challenge for me. My mind and thoughts only went to the stuff I should be doing instead of “resting” or “thinking.” Once it became a habit for me I began to get some wonderful ideas.

2. Whatever you do, go slowly.

You can’t rush into this process. Learn to go slow. Walk slowly. Watch the sunset. Pay attention to the drift of the clouds. Choose slow activities. This allows the pressure of the situation to be removed and gives us space to think. I think this is why the best ideas often happen in the shower. It is relaxing and hard to multitask.

3. Choose to be outside if possible.

There is something magical about being outside. I am specifically talking about nature. I like to take a daily walk outside during one of my breaks. This allows me to change up my priorities and spend some time thinking.

4. Unplug the phone and computer if inside.

If going outside is not possible, then you need to unplug as much as you can indoors. The important thing is to not have an agenda. Just think. Just rest. If you have a whiteboard in your office, write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t be too quick to judge and analyze what you write down. Only think about the possibilities in the beginning.

5. Schedule a think session at least weekly. 

What doesn’t get placed on the calendar often never gets done. Look at your calendar right now with me. As you look over the next 7 days, find a block of time to spend alone. If you are working in a corporate environment, maybe it is during your lunch hour. If you work from home, maybe it is Friday morning. Either way, select a think session in the next 7 days before you navigate anywhere else!

Adopting some of the above tips will increase your creativity and even re-energize you when you’re ready to get back to work. Who says a little day dreaming is all that bad?

Question: What do you do to create space to think on a regular basis? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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    2 thoughts on “014: The Art of Creating Space to Think [Podcast]

    1. It’s funny, this must be on the minds of many. Dan Black just wrote about this on his blog, and I’ve been very diligent about carving out time to simply think myself. Great tips here, Jonathan…as usual. 🙂

      • That’s interesting. I have to admit Dan Black is new to me and not someone I have read previously. Maybe I should…