19 simple ways you can make time to think in 2016

What are your goals this year as a leader? Whether you’re looking to help your employees become more engaged and motivated, overhaul your organisation’s culture or reinvent your own leadership style, making time in the day to nothing but think can help you achieve them. Setting aside just ten minutes a day when you do nothing except think can give your leadership skills a tremendous boost. Diane Johnson of The Leadership People shares some tips on how to use your thinking time to the greatest effect.

Improve yourself as a leader in 2016

Thinking on your own

1. Do a quick progress check
Ask yourself: Are things in a better place this week than last week?

2. Rebalance
Ask yourself, ‘What should I do more of and less of this week?’

3. Get some inspiration
Surf the web for something new and interesting, and then share it with someone else.

4. Get the information you need
Make a list of questions you would like to ask people this week…and ask them.

5. Inject some positivity
Think about the last time you felt really good about yourself and your achievements. What were you doing?

6. Prioritise
Ask yourself, ‘What is the single most important issue I should focus on this week?’

7. Make a list
Write down all the things you can look forward to in the week ahead.

Thinking with another person

8. Two heads are better than one
Get a ‘thinking partner’ to ask you what you would like to think about.

9. Listen up!
Ask your thinking partner to just listen to you, pay you a great deal of attention and to continue to encourage you to keep talking by asking, ‘And what else?’

10. Get professional help
Work with a coach. Ask us about coaching>>

11. Look for a mentor
Get yourself a mentor, and have thinking time with him or her.

12. Get out and about
Go for a gentle walk with your thinking partner and talk about what you would like most to happen next in your life or business.

Thinking with your team

13. Mix and match
Have a variety of thinking teams. Make sure you are time thinking with all a variety of people in your business

14. What are your successes?
Ask the team, ‘What are we doing well at the moment?’

15. What are everyone else’s challenges?
Get everyone in the room to articulate their most pressing issue. Everyone in the room should contribute.

16. Innovate
Ask everyone, ‘What could we try that is new this week?’

17. Make it personal
Ask everyone in the room, ‘If you had a chance to try something new this week, what would it be?’

18. Out with the old…
Ask the team, ‘What bad habits are we persisting with, that we ought to change?’

Make sure your environment is conducive to thought

19. No interruptions
Find a place without interruption, somewhere you can be comfortable.


About Diane Johnson

Diane Johnson of The Leadership People Diane Johnson has extensive, senior HR experience, especially in the retail sector with Tesco. She has also worked in the public sector and has had international accountability across fourteen countries as Group People Director with ghd. A qualified coach with a Post-Graduate Certificate in Personal and Business Coaching, her passion is to help clients bring about positive change, whether it be with an individual, a team or an organisational culture. Diane has experience of a wide range of diagnostic and development tools and is TLP’s resident expert on Emergenetics, a leading-edge profiling tool that is highly effective in building self-awareness and pinpointing areas of opportunity with the most potential. The tool can be used either individually or at the team level.

Contact Diane>>

Read Diane’s previous post on the power of making time for thought.