So much has changed in a year. (Don’t fret, I’m not going to repeat what you’ve already heard/read/discussed about the difference a pandemic year makes.)
But I was thinking about thinking.
In the before times, we would drive to client meetings. On the way, I and my team would discuss the client’s project, brainstorm some ideas, or prepare for our presentation. If I was going alone, the 10- or 20-minute drive gave me time to think. Uninterrupted. Gloriously uninterrupted.
Time to think.
I miss those days, although I don’t miss the traffic. All too often I now find myself clicking from one online meeting to the next, all day long. Barely time to process what happened in the last meeting. Rarely time to prepare for the next. (Or powder my nose. Ahem.)
And then, at the end of a full back-to-back meeting day, when you’re entirely zapped of all life’s energy and teetering on the brink, *that’s* when you finally have time to “think?”
Twenty or so years ago, we used to value thinking time. It was a sign of quality. Thought put into developing solutions and strategies was expected. Honoured. Cherished. “We thought about this for quite a while.” Or “we let this idea percolate…” Over the years, technology has *improved* response times, which has only increased expectations for immediate answers. This is not a pandemic phenomenon, but one that’s been exacerbated by it and the work-from-home paradigm.
Now, just as we ‘zoom’ from one meeting to the next (see what I did there?), people expect instant results and products. “Can I take a week to write that report?” Nope, how’s by 8am tomorrow?
When am I supposed to think?
A lot of people complain about Zoom fatigue, I believe it’s just exhaustion from having to produce without the benefit of time for quiet reflection, careful consideration and thoughtful reasoning.
Or, at least, that’s what I think.