A number of years ago I read an article about how some well-known old universities around the world actually schedule thinking time for their professors. This time was not to be used for answering emails, returning calls, or teaching preparation. It was time to think. Period. The universities found that their professors were more creative, productive and achieved more positive results from their students.
Yesterday, my daughter (who is in her final months of graphic design study) told me that one of her instructors had shared with the class how he and his business partner spend 60-90 minutes a day in creative thinking. They’ve realized that they need this time to allow the creative process to stay sharp so they can continue to keep their leading edge in the design industry.
If you stop to consider, most of us don’t really do much thinking outside of our day to day decisions required to sustain life. We might let our minds wander while we are driving to work or doing the dishes or taking a shower, but for the most part it’s not really creative thinking. We plow along through our days at break-neck speed, trying to get as much done as possible so that we can fall into bed at the end of it feeling like we’ve accomplished something. And accomplish, we have. But what about the things that really make a difference? The unique, the inventive, the radical, the world-changing things. Those don’t just happen. They come from people who have spent time thinking – thinking beyond the day to day stuff.
I want to try the daily thinking exercise. I’ve picked a notebook I’m going to use to record the output (and yes, the notebook is a Moleskine). And I’m going to call it the 60 Minute Journal, or something seriously creative like that.
I’m excited to see what the Creator will show me. Check out my previous post, Call it Creativity, for more on that.