Where Do You Do Your Best Thinking?

Where do you do your best thinking?

For me, it’s in the shower. Problem is, I feel too guilty to stay in more than four or five minutes and waste water, so my genius is always cut short.

Oh, the troubles we face…

Actually, I miss the days, when I lived in Chicago, of having a 40-minute commute. I got into the habit of keeping the radio off and using that precious time to just think. Review the day ahead. Issues I needed to tackle. Opportunities I wanted to conquer. With some quiet, focused time in the car, I benefitted greatly from this forced solitude.

Meditation with my eyes wide open.

OK – that was a stretch, but you get the point.

In 2020, there’s zero downtime. Everyone owns a pair of Beats, AirPods, or some type of headphone—and they’re not for minimizing noise. They’re for pushing more noise and information into our brains. I’m drowning in podcasts. I can’t possibly consume everything I’ve subscribed to. You too? (Here’s a tip: Cancel them all and just listen to FranklinCovey’s On Leadership with Scott Miller—it’s all you need to know anyway.)

The onslaught of information has hit a tipping point. Ask yourself, where and when do you do your best thinking? Or do you even think anymore? Alone. In the quiet. Just focused and thinking. Planning. Solving. Creating. Reflecting. Enjoying. Appreciating.

Or are you just consuming?

It’s likely that none of us are thinking as much as we’d like to. Need to.  Especially those in leadership positions where the demands are ceaseless. To quote FranklinCovey’s Chairman and CEO Bob Whitman, “Thinking is a legitimate business activity.”

Today, scale back your “doing” and scale up your “thinking.” Take the proverbial shower on the road, and walk around the block, corporate campus, or neighborhood. Leave your phone at home. And your Beats, AirPods, or headphones. Just put your keys in your pocket and go for a walk.

See where your mind takes you. It might be truly freeing. If you’re facing a particular issue that needs resolution, focus only on that topic during your walk, and see if you can clarify some next steps without any music, news, traffic updates, or tweets bombarding your mind.

Forgive me, my shower is going to be longer tomorrow morning. I got some stuff to solve.


80% of your results will come from 20% of your activities—are you focusing on the right ones? Download The 80/20 Activity Analyzer tool to be more strategic in your process and more successful in your results.

About the Author

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is a twenty-three-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as the executive vice president of thought leadership. Scott hosts multiple podcasts including FranklinCovey On Leadership and Great Life, Great Career. Additionally, Scott is a co-author of The Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Everyone Deserves A Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices For Leading A Team. He is also the author of the multiweek Amazon #1 New Release, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow. Scott writes a weekly leadership column for Inc.com and is a frequent contributor to Thrive Global. Previously, Scott worked for the Disney Development Company and grew up in Central Florida. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

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