Making Time to Think in an Always-On World

Opinion

I schedule thinking time as needed, like it’s a customer meeting or other commitment. Although I produce my work digitally, I think in analog. I’m most effective at brainstorming on paper or whiteboards where I can think in free-form. These mediums are inherently free of digital distractions like e-mail alerts and text messages, and they don’t come with the standard building blocks we must choose among when using digital thinking tools. Free-form brainstorming supports non-exclusive thinking where options A and B become millions of new possibilities including combinations of themselves.

[Editor’s note: To tap the wisdom of our distinguished group of Xconomists, we asked a few of them to answer this question heading into 2016: “How do you make time to think?” You can see other questions and answers here.]

Aaron Houghton is co-founder and CEO of BoostSuite in Durham, N.C. He previously co-founded iContact, which was acquired for $180 million in 2012 by Vocus. Follow @aaronwhoughton

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