I’m reading a book called “Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer. I’m only about 50 pages into a 250-page Kindle book but so far it’s a fascinating read. If you have ever thought that creativity is something people are born with, after reading this book you’ll have to think again. I mention this book because I want to share with you one aspect of the book that deals with thinking.
It’s not something people necessarily spend a lot of time doing . . . I think. Of course we think about what to have for dinner, planning when to mow the lawn and who to get together with on the weekend. But the think time I’m referring to is more abstract. Are we doing things that lead to a fulfilling life? Are we doing all we can at our jobs? Our relationships?
For those of us lucky enough to have productive and demanding jobs, “think time” is reserved for the shower or those drives into work. But I have found that one of the advantages of these summers with no students here is being able to think. When you’re in the day to day grind (okay, bad word because what I do is decidedly not a grind) it’s difficult, nearly impossible, to find time to think.
I used to work in the television production business. I did that for many years and “think time” was never in the budget. This isn’t to say that I had bad jobs or overbearing bosses, quite the opposite. Most of the jobs and bosses I had were wonderful. But think time was a luxury. And to be honest, think time during the school year is a luxury too. Which is one of the reasons I like the summer. It gives me think time.
Why is it important to think?
Because it’s too easy to keep doing the same things over and over again. Students demand our best effort and if all we do is what we’ve done in the past not only is it a disservice to them, it’s not what we’re supposed to do here in academia which is, I think, to consistently challenge the students with new ways of thinking. And that only comes when we have the time, and discipline to challenge ourselves, to think about what we do, how we do it and how to implement it.
Think time is vastly under appreciated.
Make time for it.
Andy- The GM
ADDENDUM- Okay, guys much smarter than me agree. Please read.