Time to Think

A couple of weeks ago, I had a chat with a friend, a professor, at a conference. I haven’t met him in a while, so I asked how he was doing.

He made an interesting remark. He said: “I’ve been busy, so busy with work that I don’t have time just to sit down and think. All I need is 25 minutes to think and come up with new ideas. But lately, I don’t even have 25 minutes!”

Now, I have no idea how he got the number 25 minutes. That’s oddly specific!

But his remarks left a very deep impression on me, largely because what he said sounded very similar to my own situation. I have been so busy with work, that I myself did not have any time to think!

After I came back from the conference. I made a resolution to myself: Put aside 25 minutes each day, doing nothing but to think. Doesn’t matter what it is I’m thinking about – be it life, or work, or anything really – just think.

As easy as that sounds, it turned out to be an impossible task!

No Time

There’s just so much work! Once I’m in the office, I’m busy fighting fire, doing my best to clear whatever’s on my plate.

And of course, there is always the temptation to do something rather than to spend the time doing nothing but to think. Somehow, it gives me more comfort and security knowing that I’m getting things done.

It’s hard to find the time to think deeply about things. If we’re not conscious about how easy it is to pass day after day without some quiet time to think and reflect about stuff, we could easily just go for days, weeks, or even months without time to think. But even when we try to put aside time to think, the temptation is always to busy ourselves with other matters, especially with work. I think I’ve tried for almost two weeks, and failed quite spectacularly to find the time to think.

It’s pretty scary how life (and even society) can be so fast-paced, so busy that we can go days, weeks, or even months (or dare I say, even years) without thinking or reflection. Imagine that… A whole society that’s too busy fighting fire every single day, chasing deadlines.

No wonder so many people are going insane!

At the moment, I have no solution. I think the only way to get this done is to instil a strict discipline of setting time aside for thought. As the new week begins, I can only hope I can keep to this discipline.

So, wish me luck! And I hope you too may find some time each day to enjoy the luxury of a few minutes to stop and think about life and work. Doesn’t have to be 25 minutes. Whatever we can find, I think that will do when we have such hectic lifestyles.