Given the nature of our work, we all need to spend time thinking. In fact, we need to think more and do less, not the other way around! I have generally found the following things useful in doing thinking:
– Solitude in Early Mornings: There is something about the morning – the silence, the darkness which slowly gives way to light (very symbolic) – that makes the ideas come.
– Reading a Book: I have found that when there is a problem which I am thinking about, reading a book – any book – helps provide potential ways to look at the problem differently.
– Writing: Many times, I will just sit in front of a computer and start typing. The ideas start flowing. This post is an example. I started with the seed of an idea for the post, and this is evolving as I write.
– Talking to Others: When I have an interesting idea, I will get someone to talk to – more like, listening to myself. As I talk and respond to queries the other person may have, the idea fine-tunes itself.
– Doodling: Sometimes, I will just take a blank sheet of paper, and start drawing a mindmap which outlines that I know about the problem. This helps in laying out the possibilities.