I know I should be writing the sequel to wandering thoughts, but it really has been a busy week and busier two days lie ahead so I forget all the things seeking for my attention and throw myself in front of the TV for some ME time, I deserve it don’t I? Body no be firewood abeg. Biscuits and a drink in hand, I settle in for an evening with my friends in Hollywood.
Some twenty or so minutes later, I am looking at the screen and realize I can’t remember the name of the movie I’m watching and all the stunts they've
been pulling was lost on me apparently I was deep in thought;
FIRST TIP: It is almost impossible to think strategically when you have things bothering you.
I really wanted to watch a movie, but without realizing it, my mind was still processing the article I was supposed to be writing and it wasn't until I almost spilled my drink did I remember that I brought some biscuits and a drink to aid my movie night. For you to be able to think strategically, you must consciously lay aside all other things that are vying for your attention at that moment or that might be a distraction to your thought process.
Your mobile devices should not be around you, that red light can be a major distraction it can completely derail your thought process. I hear you thinking you can turn the phone upside down, guess what, the moment that light begins to blink or your device beeps, you cannot be at ease until you scroll through and verify what the alert was for, we are wired that way. Your key focus must be on the particular thing you want to be thinking of at that point, some other quite important things might want to crop up you have to consciously put them aside and apportion a time for it later, I couldn't concentrate on the movie because I had said earlier in the day that I was going to write this piece when I get home.
This brings me to the second tip:
SECOND TIP: Create time specifically for thinking.
You need to consciously allot time to thinking, this is very important. Remember that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he, if we are a product of our thoughts, then it is imperative that we spend quality time thinking. There is this example that I use to buttress the issue of amount of time spent thinking; if you love food like I do, and your spouse was home all day and you come home to a plate of plain instant noodles and on another occasion you come home to a plate of fried rice (my personal favorite) garnished with salad and plenty meat, which day do you think the effort would yield better results (smack my lips and bat my eye lids)? I leave you to be the judge of that.
When you map out time for thinking, your sub conscious mind registers that time as thinking time and no matter what you are doing, when it gets to that time, your inner reminder will alert you that its thinking time and would keep bugging you until you leave whatever it is you are doing and attend to it or as noted above, you consciously re-schedule the time. I couldn't watch the movie because it was interfering with my writing time.
THIRD TIP: Think one Topic at a time.
As much as possible, make sure that during your strategic thinking time, you are dealing with just one topic at that particular time. This is actually a very difficult task but trust me, it will be worth every effort you put in to it. It is inevitable for other topics not to arise as you go deep into the topic you are dealing with, to help you resolve that;
FOURTH TIP: Have a note pad around when you are thinking strategically.
A lot of things are going to come up when you are thinking and it pays to have a note pad handy, the note pad will actually help you make sure you concentrate on one topic per strategic thinking time. From experience, I have actually come to realize that it is amazing what you can come up with when you begin to consciously connect all the things you wrote down while you were thinking.
FIFTH TIP: Be in a comfortable and relaxed environment.
I’ll advice that you choose a quiet environment; somewhere you can be relaxed and comfortable, the fewer the distractions, the higher the level of concentration. You also don’t want to sleep off in the middle of your thought process so that possibility should also be factored in while choosing a comfortable environment. I’ll advice you stay away from the bedroom as a choice of location except you have a reading table in your bedroom even at that, there is something about the bed in a bedroom that screams “come and sleep”.
SIXTH TIP: It’s not compulsory that you sort it all out in one sitting.
You don’t have to figure it all out in one sitting, there are times when you might have to drop that thought for the time being and revisit it on a later date so don’t beat up yourself when you are unable to crack the thought on your first try. There might just be a missing link somewhere which you might not have the required information at that point, so just let it go and carry on with other activities. I don’t know if you have been with someone before and the person goes “That’s it” and you ask what’s that? And they reply; you won’t understand. Apparently the person just got the connection to a prior thought.
SEVENTH TIP: There are no hard rules to it.
If you noticed I called these points tips that’s because they are just some guidelines it is not by any means exhaustive. The good part to it is that you can actually adopt your own style of strategic thinking and tailor it to suit your person and your time schedule. In as much as we are trying to be strategic, we should also be flexible it takes some pressure off the entire process.
Now I'm super sleepy but remember that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he; we are a product of the thoughts we have thought and acted upon in the past. So looking at yourself now, how do you grade your thoughts?