productive thinking

What is the difference between the thinking that drives your productivity and the time you spend "just thinking?"

There is no right answer: people think differently and they use thinking differently. Some people learn by doing (you take action and then think about it) and others think and then act (look before you leap). Since thinking is a co-production of our conscious attention and unconscious (or automatic or instinctual) processes, we can make decisions with or without "thinking."

Thinking first is not always better - although it does make it easier to communicate (or justify!) your actions to other people.

If you want to make better use of your thinking, you need to consider times when you have been successful, and notice not just what you were thinking, but when and how you were thinking. Did you notice something that was working and then think about it? Did you notice a problem and think about a solution, and then take action? Did you engage people in what you were doing and then explain it, or explain it as a way of engaging them?

Thinking is necessary to learning and to replicating success. It's not always the first step in creating, innovating, or being successful once in a row. Find out what is working for you, so that you can think productively more often.


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