When we let our minds wander, we set our brains free. Our brains are most productive when there is no demand that they be reactive. – Sherry Turkle
Each morning, with maniacal precision, I make time to exercise. For me, starting each day on a long run or swim is a required part of my routine. Over years of serving as an administrator I have learned, the only time I can be free from most distractions is in the very early morning hours. It’s my time . . . it is when my mind can wander.
When I am with my own thoughts, when there is no demand to be reactive to multiple stimuli, I am able to truly be productive. When my brain is set free, I dream, solve problems, and create plans. It’s not the initial thought that is most valuable; it’s the development of the simple into the complex. It’s the intentional and purposeful processing of ideas. This can’t happen with intermittent pings or vibrations from my iPhone; this doesn’t happen with alerts and notifications.
Make time for yourself, every day, to let your mind wander. Some people meditate; others do yoga, and some for long walks. Be intentional – turn off the notifications and vibrations. Permit yourself the time to set your brain free. You will be a greater contributor to the team, to the group, when you are able to have your own thoughts together.