I just got back from a two week holiday in France and I purposely chose to leave my iPhone and laptop behind. The primary reason was that I didn’t want to get sucked into work, but the secondary reason was that I wanted to have space to think.
The trouble with our always-on lifestyles is that you can’t go anywhere or do anything without being interrupted (it’s even harder if you have kids). The problem with being constantly interrupted is that it keeps you from thinking deeply.
Why is thinking deeply important? Simple really: life is insanely short and you might be wasting time doing stuff that has absolutely no value to you. The problem is that when you’re busy, it’s easy to overlook.
If you can’t afford to take a two week holiday right now, then here’s what I’d suggest: Wake up two hours early or stay up two hours later for just one day. Don’t turn on your computer or go near your phone. Simply grab a notebook and a pencil. Then here’s the important part: just let yourself be quiet and think.
I’d suggest drawing a timeline from 1 to 100 and plot your current age. Then plot milestones on the timeline like when you’ll be 40, 60, 80 and ‘Kids go to college’, etc. Then even put ‘Death’ on there. Morbid? Not really. It’s just the truth – none of us will last forever. And that makes what you’re doing with your life right now even more important.