“Without solitude, no serious work is possible.” Picasso
Our world today is incredibly busy (see Do You Suffer From Continue Partial Attention Deficit Syndrom) and interruptions are almost constant. In 1789, Benjamin Franklin said “. . . nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” I think in 2015’s world, we can revise this to say “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and constant interruptions.” Chances are, a large percentage of you were interrupted by your office phone, cell phone, email, text message, instant message or some other modern day technical marvel at least once during the time it took to read this!
As business leaders we must set aside time that is insulated from interruptions so that we have time to strategically plan our business. We need to think through issues, set vision, direction, goals and communications. This cannot be done when you are being interrupted every 30 seconds! You need solitude to get serious work completed!
Solitude is different for each person. Some people like being totally unplugged and isolated in a quiet room. Others like listening to their favorite “concentration” music while sitting in their favorite chair in their den or office. Some people think best when they are physically active doing things like; hiking, cycling, walking, jogging or lifting weights. Personally, I get a ton of work done if I am on a plane or sitting in an airport lounge, as crazy as that sounds (which is where I am writing this)!
So, it doesn’t really matter how you define solitude so long as you take it. Set a block in your calendar for this “solitude” time and don’t let it get bumped or canceled. Turn off all your disruptive technology and spend at least an hour or two once a week where you can think uninterrupted and get some serious work completed.
“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” Socrates