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Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:22 pm
Does anyone else spend a large chunk of their time each day just thinking without any distractions (apart from music)? It could be about anything - hypothetical scenarios, scientific theory, books you have read, your past, what you are going to do for the day, etc.
I am in the process of improving my creative writing and came up with this rule of thumb: you should think more than you read and read more than you write. This ensures that you maintain original thoughts while also opening up yourself to new ideas.
How often do you just think? What do you think about? How beneficial is thinking as an activity?
Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:24 pm
Cycling. Running. Swimming. The perfect time to mull things over and make connections.
Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:14 am
I used to think this was good practice, until I made the acquaintance of a young woman who suffered from schizophrenia, and heard her muttering "It's important to think." as she scribbled away in her journal. Kind of like catching a glimpse of yourself in the funhouse mirror.
Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:38 am
If you want to be productive I think you should read less than you write, after a certain age. I think Eintstein said something similar.
Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:12 am
Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:16 pm
Did wrote:If you want to be productive I think you should read less than you write, after a certain age. I think Eintstein said something similar.
About 14 days ago, I came to the same conclusion...
Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:34 pm
@did I will keep that in mind. I do not think I have passed that age yet; how will I know? Lately, I have been reading the classics in philosophy and Taleb's work. I still feel there is more insight to be discovered and pondered.
Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:46 pm
Thinking is not a productive activity on its own. Thinking is productive when you're attempting to join two previously unjoined concepts or when deconstructing a concept for the sake of putting it back into a framework you can work with. In other words, when moving a concept from the framework in which is was presented to you, into a framework where you can apply the concept.
Thinking for the sake of thinking is writing for the sake of writing. If there is no message/information, you're just spinning your wheels but it costs you mental resources none the less.
Thinking is not totally free.
Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:33 pm
@FBeyer I tend to gain satisfaction from divergent, as opposed to convergent, possibilities. This is just a matter of personality of course (xxxp vs xxxj). Sure, the way of thinking you describe is useful, but is the purpose of life to optimize indefinitely? What are you optimizing for? The minimization of suffering? What if suffering, viewed from another perspective, is what inhibits joy in life? From my perspective, thinking increases my awareness of future possibilities; the uncertainty is what I choose to live for.
Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:15 am
@daylen It isn't for me to say, but in my own case, I think if I just stopped reading things, including newspapers and this forum, and just worked on my own projects, then I would get a lot done. I guess it depends on how you want to spend your time: producing or pondering. Mind you, I'm now in my 40s and have read enough of the work of others.
Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:21 am
what @Ego said, and if there are distractions that are predictable they turn into white noise.
Stream of consciousness type of thinking is very pleasurable for me, though it might have to do with having a good nurturing environment and a well set life; I could imagine another version of me ruminating about some annoying stuff.
Occasionally I crave for some more structure, but often I conclude that this would come with too much of an overhead cost and carry on stream of consciousness thinking.
It is often somewhat related to whatever comes into my horizon of awareness, but can diverge significantly.
Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:10 pm
Yes - on walks especially but sometimes lying in bed or pacing around while I work. Lately since working from home I'm cherishing those procrastination moments ... because now I realize what I'm really doing here is just just "buffering". There has been many times where I am stuck on a complex issue at work (usually dealing with some code but could also even be some workplace politics to think through) so I give up in the short-term and after a nights sleep either solve the problem first thing in the morning or find another work around. Lost count of how many times I've had this phenomena https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sle ... 2105242463
I suppose this rule applies to things outside of work and can apply to most creative tasks?