Slow down, sit with it, and think it through.
I’m beginning to adopt this practice in my life. It stems from my desire to be a better student, yet I find it applies to many areas. I’ve always been a great student, the kind that can toss off assignments like no big deal and get high grades. But I never feel like I’m fully committed to the classes I’m taking, essentially because I don’t have to work hard. This semester I wanted to change that. I want to sit with my readings, and think about my essays, putting together thoughtful, well-written assignments that I know I’ve done a good job on. Instead of just picking a random paper topic I want to put some thought into what I want to explore and what I want to say. I often leave this to the back of my brain to do (and, I learned last semester in Creativity class, that’s part of the way we incubate ideas), but I want to actually sit with no technological distractions, with a piece of paper and a pen, and think. It really helps to focus the project and clear the way.
I’ve started adopting this at work, too. Instead of letting my brain churn on the details as I work on other things, for instance, I sat down today with a notebook and wrote down “Things I Know” and “Things I Think” (in relation to an upcoming event). My productivity might remain the same, but I wonder how my outcome will change. Instead of throwing things together, will my thoughtfulness about them allow for a greater impact?