Today’s ability: taking time to think.

If you want to get better at strategic thinking, you’ll actually need to spend more time to think. It is as simple as that. When I was researching this topic, almost all suggestions and “tricks” evolve around this: make time to think, get in a spot you feel comfortable and won’t be disturbed, et cetera. You know the drill.

The lesson here is that in order to get better at thinking, you need to learn how you get into thinking mode. If you know this, you can replicate it and get to it faster. For me, I need to make lists and write out stuff to really think. Otherwise I keep looping around over the same ideas. You might have a couple of these “rules” as well. Don’t try to force yourself to do things any other way, use whatever works.

Second big lesson is that in order to think more freely and be really flexible in your thoughts, you need to become more organized with your other stuff. This is one of the big ideas from David Allen in Getting Things Done: having a mind like water allows you to be more creative because you can devote all of your brain cycles to the task at hand.

Tomorrow’s ability: being non-judgmental.