DOING Takes Time Away from THINKING

I’m on my way back from an amazing couple of weeks in the States.  Many stories to tell, new friends made & business ideas formed.

The first three days here were spent attending an expensive conference in Chicago, led by Mr 80/20 Richard Koch (if you haven’t heard of him, I highly recommend reading ‘The 80/20 Principle‘)

Anyway, on the very first day, he had this great line “action drives out thought“.

We need space.  Space away from the everyday grind to break those same everyday thought patterns.  Space can be as simple as sitting by a stream, mountain biking (in my case), running through the forest (in my pre-kid life!), or just taking 30-60 minutes to start the day with a notepad & pen (no computer, no screens)!  This space is the thing that gets you thinking.

But lets look at thinking.  Assume we define thinking as: DOING less.  Then the LESS I DO, the greater the VALUE to my business!!!!  How’s that for a win-win?! I take every Tuesday off to go & mountain bike in the forest & my business grows in value as a result. Yee hah.

Now of course there’s a caveat.

Thinking is actually harder WORK than the doing we’re all addicted to.  Much harder.

You need a wonderful team (which I’m lucky to have) to implement those ideas while you GET OUT OF THEIR WAY (which my team will tell you I’m not great at… yet).  Having a reliable team and dedicating time to yourself is the blueprint for doing less and adding value.

Some people (eg in Perry’s group) got their knickers in a twist because they said Richard only “works” 1 hour a day.  And in a way, that is correct. But to look at it from a different angle, he’s working 5-12 hours a day.

Because he’s thinking & allowing ideas to percolate.

This is far more valuable.

You can find space in your day to day life if you look for it.  For example… I’m sitting right now in the Delta lounge in Atlanta because my flight was delayed & I missed a connection.  Some people here are getting pissed off & yelling at Delta staff.  The best use of their time?   Maybe not…  Even though I was a bit annoyed too, I flipped it & said, “what a great opportunity to sit and think for 2 hours!”

And guess what… 30 minutes later I’ve had an idea that – subject to 1 outside decision – should be worth over $1 million to WebSavvy in the next 3 years.

Did I “work” for 30 minutes to get that?

On one level it took one minute.  But really it took form over the past few weeks of asking the right questions & expecting that my brain would come up with the answer….

What’s that time worth?

It’s priceless

So please. Make time. Go think. Do less. Add value. Be.