LIFE

Why Thinking Time Is The Most Important Part Of A Work Day

The modern work day culture doesn't leave time for creative thinking.

26/02/2017 6:44 AM AEDT | Updated 27/02/2017 8:26 AM AEDT
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Stopping is one of the most powerful things we can do in order to work better.

Most of the systems in place for businesses to manage people and manage our time were originally created from a model of work, designed for a different era. In fact, it was during the Industrial Revolution that the classic 'work model' was created -- a gruelling 16 hour work day that was eventually reduced to today's average eight hour day.

But Rahaf Harfoush, author and digital trends expert, who worked on former US President Obama's social media team, said current business systems work against a creative mindset.

"It is unrealistic that the models that were created during the Industrial revolution are still guiding our work life today. We all have different jobs and different responsibilities. I would argue that in today's knowledge economy, everybody is a creative," Harfoush told The Huffington Post Australia.

"So while we're being asked by employers to be more creative, to think more, to look for better solutions, there is no space being given to enable people to stop and think and create."

Rahaf Harfoush
Rahaf Harfoush looks at the evolution of our modern work day culture.

Harfoush is on the verge of releasing her book, Hustle and Float, which is based on the concept that we need to take time to float and be still, rather than hustling all the time.

"Hustle and float is actually a river guide term that's used in white water rafting where it's all about finding a balance. In essence, a lot of the models of creativity that we use, require us to stop and have these large, unstructured periods of time where we don't have anything planned and we can just think," Harfoush said.

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We fill our lives with so many activities, many of us are 'over scheduled.'

"If you look at the way most people work, most of us are so busy because productivity as a model is based on non-stop output on continuous work. So I recognise there's a big conflict between the way we're asked to work and the type of work we're being asked to do."

"Then when you factor in things like the media and how much we admire and idolise entrepeneurs and creatives, it creates a tension I feel works against a lot of creatives and prevents us from creating our best products."

The concept that we all need time to disconnect is not a new one. But, Harfoush said problems arise when we fill our lives with so many activities, many of us are 'over-scheduled.'

"Just before I started researching Hustle and Float, I'd experienced a crippling bout of burn-out. It was very frightening. My hair started falling out and I started having health issues. But it was the idea that, as an entrepreneur, I should know better," Harfoush said.

"And what I needed to do to take care of myself. So the book started out as my own investigation into where our beliefs about work come from but then I started hearing similar stories from others. We all need to realise that stopping is one of the most powerful things we can do in order to go further and work better."



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