Many of us work until something distracts us, whether it’s a colleague, a family member or a phone call. Interruptions abound and productivity drops.
But according to the boss of a start-up firm, we could enhance our productivity by allocating “thinking time”.
Mitchell Harper, chief executive and founder of PeopleSpark - a software designed to help managers be more productive - successful leaders allocate time just to think.
“But what won’t you find on 98% of calendars? Time blocked out to just think. Blocks of 1, 2 or even 3 hours at a time with no agenda. No additional attendees. No anything. Just ‘thinking time’,” he wrote on readers' community website Medium.
Time blocking is the concept of sitting down once a week for a few minutes or hours and scheduling time for yourself.
Mr Harper says this “alone time” is crucial to distinguish what is working from what is not and will help managers achieve success in their business and their private lives.
He advises entrepreneurs to create recurring events in their agenda and label them “thinking time" - then to switch off their phones and make sure no one can disturb them.
“During my thinking time I focus on not 'doing' anything. I don’t try to make progress on anything tangible. I don’t mark off goals on a ToDo list. I just sit in silence and think about things that are important or top of mind,” he writes.
According the article, "time blocking" is a common strategy used by celebrities and political figures such as Beyonce and Bill Clinton.
“Time is our most precious resource," Mr Harper writes.
"And where you spend your time influences how you do in every area of your life. Sometimes it makes sense to do that with people (colleagues, board, partner, family), but you also need some alone time where you can just lay your cards out on the table."
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies