Do you take the time to absorb new information and let it percolate in your brain awhile before rushing to judgement, making a decision or throwing together a blog post, a tweet, an SMS or comment somewhere?
At breakfast this morning my wife, 13 year old son and I were in a conversation about television. In a poor attempt at grabbing his attention, I tried to set context for him on what is was like for me at 13 — three networks, one independent TV channel, no recorded media — and what it was like for him now.
We have DVD’s, DirecTV with hundreds of channels, game systems, books galore, two daily newspapers, and an Internet with essentially “millions” of channels. He smiled and said, “Whatever Dad” and went on with conversations about his skiing adventure this weekend! He made it clear that he LOVES all the choice and ENJOYS the constant interruptions his mobile phone, IM, Skype, XBox Live teams give him.
I submit that it is VERY hard right now to turn off the river of news, shut out the Twitter’s, the social network alerts, SMS, IM, Skype calls, emails, and all the other interruptions and make 100% certain that you have the time to think, to consider, mull stuff over and just breathe.
What I try hard to do with this blog — and life in general — is to ferret out the meaning behind a person’s incentives, company/product direction or strategic announcement before going off half-cocked to write about it and/or get involved in conversations. Connecting the dots, if you will.
I frequently turn off every possible interruption in order to buffer myself against intrusions that are accelerating and demanding ever higher levels of my attention. It’s the only way I can be assured that I’ll be able to place myself in a position of contemplation before taking action.
Here are three strategies that you can do right now to set yourself up to be more contemplative. It will pay off and I guarantee it (or your money will be cheerfully refunded):