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Shut Up, I’m Trying to Think!

Posted By: Randy GageApril 20, 2009

Did you ever hear those words above from your parents or someone else?  They may not be the most polite thing to say, but they hold some truth. 

Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and many other intellectuals actually scheduled themselves time to think.  I think it is the most important thing I do for my success.  Most importantly, I do it with no TV, radio or music.  It is QUIET time.

When you don’t have distractions, you really do think more freely and creatively.  And that’s important.  So why not schedule yourself some quiet reflection time today?

-RG

25 comments on “Shut Up, I’m Trying to Think!”

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with the post Randy.

    I share an office with my girlfriend as of January and it really is SIGNIFICANTLY different with me in the office vs. 2 of us. I see getting "thinking time" only getting tougher with age. By the way, this comes from a person who once read 150 books in 1.5 years while enjoying a personal sabbatical so I know ALL ABOUT "thinking time" and how much it can help a person grow intellectually.

    I am trying to get some online ventures going nowadays (I have a nice full-time job) so I could attain better work/life balance, hopefully more income and attain some personal dreams of mine.

    Thanks for reminding me about this topic. It resonated loud and clear with me 🙂

    Dan Ross

  2. I'm not one who can sit cross legged and meditate, my daily quiet time is a walk around our garden, then sitting in it with nothing but the sound of birds, and resting there for as long as feels right.

  3. We tried to share an office at home with Bernie, but I need the peace and quiet to think and create.
    My worst nightmare would be to sit and pretend to work on one of those open-plan so-called offices ! a few years ago I tried, and failed, when on duty during the week-end, in such a set-up, advising patients about their health problems ! unbelievable work conditions...

    Gave me a boost to think of a better way to spend my working hours

  4. Thanks for bringing this up, Randy, it's really of vital importance for intellectual work!
    I needed silence when I studied so I mostly did it early mornings and nights. Then I had my two children three years apart and they got very noisy from time to time when they were little. To some extent or occasionally I had to tolerate their louder play as well, so I learned to "unplug" myself. I could do some intellectual work then even with them around, but now I'm slowly getting back my quiet time when they are at school and it sure feels good. And, yes, not even a meditative, relaxing or ambiental music won't do, when I want to do some serious thinking. To paraphase that: "When a man's got to think, he's got to think!"

  5. Most definitely Randy! I'm staying with friends at the moment as I'm travelling the world. They have the TV on about 3-4 hours a day and the wife writes e-mail on her mobile phone with the keypad tones switched on. And with the construction of three highrise buildings in the same street it's noise central! Thankfully the TV is in a language I can't understand but all the noise does do my head in a bit. I've noticed that it's been making me cranky. I'm used to lots of quiet time. Time without TV, (I never even switch it on unless I'm putting on a DVD), time without radio and noisy people. I've really enjoying visiting parks here to get away from all madness of Tokyo city. I actually mentioned to someone that I'll be glad to leave this place - not so much the country but the home environment. Fingers crossed the next place is more peaceful.

  6. Pray and then listen - what is God saying? what are your own thoughts? How does that make you feel?

    Spend time alone as Randy says - and then spend time with God.
    Thanks for the reminder Randy.

    I personally enjoy the covenant prayer at http://www.thesecondadam.com Thanks

  7. >>> When you don’t have distractions, you really do think more freely and creatively. And that’s important. So why not schedule yourself some quiet reflection time today? <<<

    I will schedule myself some queit reflection time today in my office today... just because you say so. You're my mentor and my hero. I will do everything you instruct because you're awesome!

    SAACHI

  8. Randy, the word that struck me when I was reading this post was not "quiet", but rather "schedule". I schedule time to eat, sleep, work, and perform other vital daily functions, but "thinking" has always been a seize-the-opportunity kind of thing. Starting today, I am going to reserve a nice chunk of time for one purpose -- thinking! Thanks for the reminder!

  9. I used to run for an hour every day and it amazed me how I could come up with solutions to problems or set new goals as long as my intention was running. If I set out to fix my problems or set new goals while running there was often this disconnect.
    Now that I have 4 bolts in my lower back I have to resort to
    using my elliptical stepper but the process is still the same.
    The thinking comes as serendipity to the physical exercise.

  10. Hi Randy
    Well I allways Think about my vision with piano melodies and it makes me to think deeply but now if you say think without any music I will do it .
    THank you I love more day by day
    Azade from Iran

  11. Thank you Randy...I schedule my quiet time in the evening when I lay down the for the night....all is quiet....TV is off...don't watch much of that any way.....Then I get into this deep thinking mode about the day's successes and not so successful events ...then I plan the next day's events and what I'm gonna improve on tmrw ...all this before I close my eyes....that way while I'm sleeping and dreaming all that positivity is going through my mind...I wake up refreshed and feeling like Tony the Tyger and ready to fly.....It's a great way to improve YOU! Take care of YOU 1st! Thanks for the awesome work you always do!
    Tony Beach

  12. Thanks for a great article...learning this important skill myself and have been using it for about two months in my business practices...having wonderful results. Also wrote about it on my blog.

  13. This may sound weird, but I schedule time to sit quietly and NOT think. I find that when I clear my mind of all thoughts, and just sit quietly, with the "brain clutter" removed, solutions to whatever problems I may be having at the moment literally "pop" into my head.

    I do see the benefit in "thinking" time, too. That's critical. For me, unfortunately, I tend to "over think" things when I am in "thinking" mode. LOL.

  14. My mind gets really creative when I go for a run w/ my dog and I don't take any music. I get all kinds of ideas I have to hurry up and write down when I get home. I'm also a night owl and I love it cause there are no distractions at 3 or 4 am and my creative juices seem to really flow around those hours. Thanks for reminding us how importatnt Think Time is to our success!

    Blessings to all for the Ultimate Successes you seek!

  15. Randy,
    This is so true - with all the noise that modern society generates, it can be difficult to find quiet space. But for our peace of mind, and for any kind of personal growth, it is imperative that we do so.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    Bliss and blessings,
    Jacqui

  16. I guess I have probably heard those words before, can't recall an exact situation, but I am probably more guilty of uttering them. I like the idea of scheduled think time. For me personally though, I would need some quiet music on in the background -- sounds crazy probably, but I actually don't think well in quiet; I actually don't do anything well in quiet. I find the quiet to be distracting -- but anyway, the point being you are right we all need to set some time aside to ponder and enlighten our creative processes.

    I will keep looking for the useful advice I find here. Cheers

  17. salam azade,to network kar mikoni?man taze ozve ye net.m shodam razeyam ama bazam be ham fekre niaz daram.

  18. Yes, it is something that I have cultivated a habit of doing.
    And I do it daily nowadays. While you are at it, examine your own thoughts for negatives (and positives), fit Randy's teachings into them & plan your day ahead.

    During the course of your day, monitor your thought too.

  19. Randy really it is true, the other day y did it! just sit down and looking trough my window... I think and i feel.. I use to do that an that is really wonderfull..it is like spend some time with my self an talk with me...

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  • 25 comments on “Shut Up, I’m Trying to Think!”

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with the post Randy.

      I share an office with my girlfriend as of January and it really is SIGNIFICANTLY different with me in the office vs. 2 of us. I see getting "thinking time" only getting tougher with age. By the way, this comes from a person who once read 150 books in 1.5 years while enjoying a personal sabbatical so I know ALL ABOUT "thinking time" and how much it can help a person grow intellectually.

      I am trying to get some online ventures going nowadays (I have a nice full-time job) so I could attain better work/life balance, hopefully more income and attain some personal dreams of mine.

      Thanks for reminding me about this topic. It resonated loud and clear with me 🙂

      Dan Ross

    2. I'm not one who can sit cross legged and meditate, my daily quiet time is a walk around our garden, then sitting in it with nothing but the sound of birds, and resting there for as long as feels right.

    3. We tried to share an office at home with Bernie, but I need the peace and quiet to think and create.
      My worst nightmare would be to sit and pretend to work on one of those open-plan so-called offices ! a few years ago I tried, and failed, when on duty during the week-end, in such a set-up, advising patients about their health problems ! unbelievable work conditions...

      Gave me a boost to think of a better way to spend my working hours

    4. Thanks for bringing this up, Randy, it's really of vital importance for intellectual work!
      I needed silence when I studied so I mostly did it early mornings and nights. Then I had my two children three years apart and they got very noisy from time to time when they were little. To some extent or occasionally I had to tolerate their louder play as well, so I learned to "unplug" myself. I could do some intellectual work then even with them around, but now I'm slowly getting back my quiet time when they are at school and it sure feels good. And, yes, not even a meditative, relaxing or ambiental music won't do, when I want to do some serious thinking. To paraphase that: "When a man's got to think, he's got to think!"

    5. Most definitely Randy! I'm staying with friends at the moment as I'm travelling the world. They have the TV on about 3-4 hours a day and the wife writes e-mail on her mobile phone with the keypad tones switched on. And with the construction of three highrise buildings in the same street it's noise central! Thankfully the TV is in a language I can't understand but all the noise does do my head in a bit. I've noticed that it's been making me cranky. I'm used to lots of quiet time. Time without TV, (I never even switch it on unless I'm putting on a DVD), time without radio and noisy people. I've really enjoying visiting parks here to get away from all madness of Tokyo city. I actually mentioned to someone that I'll be glad to leave this place - not so much the country but the home environment. Fingers crossed the next place is more peaceful.

    6. Pray and then listen - what is God saying? what are your own thoughts? How does that make you feel?

      Spend time alone as Randy says - and then spend time with God.
      Thanks for the reminder Randy.

      I personally enjoy the covenant prayer at http://www.thesecondadam.com Thanks

    7. >>> When you don’t have distractions, you really do think more freely and creatively. And that’s important. So why not schedule yourself some quiet reflection time today? <<<

      I will schedule myself some queit reflection time today in my office today... just because you say so. You're my mentor and my hero. I will do everything you instruct because you're awesome!

      SAACHI

    8. Randy, the word that struck me when I was reading this post was not "quiet", but rather "schedule". I schedule time to eat, sleep, work, and perform other vital daily functions, but "thinking" has always been a seize-the-opportunity kind of thing. Starting today, I am going to reserve a nice chunk of time for one purpose -- thinking! Thanks for the reminder!

    9. I used to run for an hour every day and it amazed me how I could come up with solutions to problems or set new goals as long as my intention was running. If I set out to fix my problems or set new goals while running there was often this disconnect.
      Now that I have 4 bolts in my lower back I have to resort to
      using my elliptical stepper but the process is still the same.
      The thinking comes as serendipity to the physical exercise.

    10. Hi Randy
      Well I allways Think about my vision with piano melodies and it makes me to think deeply but now if you say think without any music I will do it .
      THank you I love more day by day
      Azade from Iran

    11. Thank you Randy...I schedule my quiet time in the evening when I lay down the for the night....all is quiet....TV is off...don't watch much of that any way.....Then I get into this deep thinking mode about the day's successes and not so successful events ...then I plan the next day's events and what I'm gonna improve on tmrw ...all this before I close my eyes....that way while I'm sleeping and dreaming all that positivity is going through my mind...I wake up refreshed and feeling like Tony the Tyger and ready to fly.....It's a great way to improve YOU! Take care of YOU 1st! Thanks for the awesome work you always do!
      Tony Beach

    12. Thanks for a great article...learning this important skill myself and have been using it for about two months in my business practices...having wonderful results. Also wrote about it on my blog.

    13. This may sound weird, but I schedule time to sit quietly and NOT think. I find that when I clear my mind of all thoughts, and just sit quietly, with the "brain clutter" removed, solutions to whatever problems I may be having at the moment literally "pop" into my head.

      I do see the benefit in "thinking" time, too. That's critical. For me, unfortunately, I tend to "over think" things when I am in "thinking" mode. LOL.

    14. My mind gets really creative when I go for a run w/ my dog and I don't take any music. I get all kinds of ideas I have to hurry up and write down when I get home. I'm also a night owl and I love it cause there are no distractions at 3 or 4 am and my creative juices seem to really flow around those hours. Thanks for reminding us how importatnt Think Time is to our success!

      Blessings to all for the Ultimate Successes you seek!

    15. Randy,
      This is so true - with all the noise that modern society generates, it can be difficult to find quiet space. But for our peace of mind, and for any kind of personal growth, it is imperative that we do so.
      Thank you for the reminder.
      Bliss and blessings,
      Jacqui

    16. I guess I have probably heard those words before, can't recall an exact situation, but I am probably more guilty of uttering them. I like the idea of scheduled think time. For me personally though, I would need some quiet music on in the background -- sounds crazy probably, but I actually don't think well in quiet; I actually don't do anything well in quiet. I find the quiet to be distracting -- but anyway, the point being you are right we all need to set some time aside to ponder and enlighten our creative processes.

      I will keep looking for the useful advice I find here. Cheers

    17. salam azade,to network kar mikoni?man taze ozve ye net.m shodam razeyam ama bazam be ham fekre niaz daram.

    18. Yes, it is something that I have cultivated a habit of doing.
      And I do it daily nowadays. While you are at it, examine your own thoughts for negatives (and positives), fit Randy's teachings into them & plan your day ahead.

      During the course of your day, monitor your thought too.

    19. Randy really it is true, the other day y did it! just sit down and looking trough my window... I think and i feel.. I use to do that an that is really wonderfull..it is like spend some time with my self an talk with me...

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