In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, David Leonhardt writes about the importance of allowing yourself time for detaching from regular daily activities and simply...thinking. He calls it a "Schultz Hour," after former Secretary of State George Schultz, who was a proponent of carving out an hour each week to think about the strategic elements of his job, without distraction.
It seems like this detachment is even more important today, considering our 24/7/365 lifestyles and connections to technology. Our brains are able to benefit from activities that are directly connected to accomplishments and productivity, and those that are more like daydreaming. But they can't do both at the same time, so it's important to give each type of activity some time. Turning off our phones and computers for an hour, taking a walk in the park, or just sitting and looking out the window the next time we're on the train can give our brains the space to think more creatively and enable us to appreciate the world around us a little more.
It might just be that by giving ourselves a Schultz Hour, we will become better able to focus on our personal relationships as well as finding solutions to problems we are trying to solve.
Let's try it! Email me and let me know if you do.