Technology is now a key part of so much of how we relate to the world. I’ve personally used technology as a tool to grow Think Bespoke’s business with our LinkedIn specialist training. New clients are sometimes surprised when I pull out a notebook and pen or my paper based diary, as they assume I am 100% digital. This is far from the case, as I value my thinking time and understand how important it is to allow my brain various modes of ‘thinking’ to ensure it is not being fried by consuming too many screens each day.
Life and technology is running at such a rapid pace that it is hard to keep up. But why do we want to keep up? We should perhaps spend more time thinking, reflecting, or playing with technology to help understand what suits us, is useful or just plain old fun.
I’ve been making my may through my blog archives. Many of my first blog posts talk to busy professionals about how effectively they are managing their time and their teams. When I first established Think Bespoke many of my clients were either professionals looking for new roles (who I helped with resumes and LinkedIn Profiles) or business leaders I trained in my capacity as a Lead Trainer and Facilitator for a boutique training agency I subcontracted to as I built Think Bespoke’s services and client base.
Many of the insights I shared back in 2013 still ring true today. And the one that really stood out to me was the concept of whether we are all getting enough sandpit time. I originally wrote about this after reading an interesting article from the Education sector about the role of technology in classrooms. Alan Thwaites, an e-learning co-ordinator and coach recognised that incorporating information and communication technologies (ICT) into schools had been challenging. At the time the technology was unprecedented and could not be compared with updating a textbook or replacing blackboards with whiteboards.
Teachers had to first familiarise themselves with how these new devices worked before they could work out how to use them to improve learning.
The teachers needed sandpit time.
How to Get More Thinking Time in Each Day
I believe we could all benefit from more sandpit time.
Time to sit and play.
Time to discover and learn.
So many of my problems are solved or opportunities properly critiqued when I am not in front of a screen. I may be walking, reading a book, writing in my journal or simply taking a deep breath as I enjoy the view. Here are some suggestions for how you can get more thinking time into your day:
- Take a walk or do some exercise
- Limit your daily consumption of social media and replace this time with writing in a journal
- Read a book (borrowed from the library or a friend)
- Eyeball your loved ones
- Sit and look out the window
- Lie on top of your made bed and practice some deep breathing
- Listen to your favourite music
- Write a thank you card to a friend, colleague or interstate / overseas relative
- Make yourself a pot of tea and sit quietly as the tea brews
Technology can enhance your working life. It can help you manage your time and keep track of tasks. It can remind you when to do things and inform you of email updates and new connections. Your handheld or electronic device is most likely how you receive and share most information these days.
Sandpit time may or may not involve a screen. It gives you the opportunity to think, discover and learn, and may mean better or just more interesting ways of approaching our lives.
We all need more sandpit time.
As one of Asia Pacific’s Top 10 LinkedIn Experts I share fortnightly news with my global email community and run monthly online Lunch and Learns to teach professionals how to unlock LinkedIn. Sign up to my newsletter to help you learn LinkedIn – the right way!