“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!
Are you a divergent thinker? Most of us have heard of the movie “Divergent” which was released in 2014. It is about a girl (played by Shailene Woodley) who grew up in a post apocalyptic world that was segregated into five factions. Each faction had a distinct role to fill in the “new world” and everyone in each faction was expected to think and act in accordance with the mission of their faction. Those who could not fit into one of the factions were homeless, lived on the street and called factionless.
Every year the kids who were turning 18 had to take a test that determined their mindset and selected their faction for life. This faction could be the one they grew up in or it could be one of the other four. If it was a different faction than they grew up in, they would have to leave their family and everything they had known and move in with the new faction. No cross-faction citizenship was allowed.
Although this system appeared to result in a very orderly and focused society, it was obviously very closed minded and limiting. It did not allow for much in the way of free thinking or creativity.