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3. Creativity > 33. Spend More Time Thinking

Spend More Time Thinking

Become more productive by staring into space—purposefully.

I’ve suggested elsewhere that sometimes it’s useful not to overthink things [Hack #48]. Sometimes, however, it is useful to chew a topic over and over until you know it like the taste of your own mouth.

As part of a recent job, I had to spend up to an hour twice a day commuting on a bus. I spent a lot of time reading. I also spent a lot of time meditating [Hack #60], because if you can meditate on a noisy, crowded bus and not just in a tranquil zendo, you’re getting somewhere, and I don’t mean downtown. But the thing I did the most by far was stare into space, and I don’t regret it at all.

What I was really doing was thinking, pure thinking. Thinking is a wonderful way to spend your free moments. Thinking is portable, inexpensive, and environmentally safe; it requires no equipment, and you can do it even with a serious physical disability. Best of all, since thinking is universally applicable, you can make progress on any problem of interest simply by directing your attention toward it.


  

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