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Planning in Think-Time…

by John Austin in Behavior change

Planning in think-time during the day is a simple concept, but not easy to execute.

We know it to be important, but we (and me too) don’t always do it. Take this post for an example of (a little bit of) thinking, even though I had planned it into my day, I’m writing it at night because other things got in the way of me doing it….and I’m a behavioral psychologist so I ought to know better!

But, as we all learn, knowing is not doing. Despite the fact that many in the US are knowledge workers, a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found 83% of people said they spent no time during the day relaxing or thinking.

How do we explain this? Isn’t this counter-intuitive? Is it self-defeating? Perhaps people don’t notice the think time they are putting in?

My experience tells me that many see “thinking” as “not doing” anything of “value”. Whereas things with an observable impact like sending emails, having meetings, and working until late hours in your office often hold more value. This is a form of presenteeism.

What do you think?

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