Making Time to Think: Coffee Hours, Runs With Labs, & Disconnecting

Even as technology helps our lives—connecting us more closely to people across the globe, automating tasks to make life easier—we, as a society, still feel more harried than ever.

We at Xconomy reached out to a select group of sources and advisors across our network (the Xconomists) to ask them a series of questions around New Year’s. Here, we tackle: How do you make time to think?

Clay Johnston, dean of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin: My morning jog, with my lab-mix Nigel, is critical to setting my emotional and intellectual pace for the day. Lots happens on that run, beyond interest in an occasional cat or squirrel.

Hesam Panahi, founder of RedLabs, University of Houston: Every morning, I go to a coffee shop for an hour or more; it has become a ritual. There’s no set objective, and I can use that time to think or do whatever else seems appropriate at the time: answer e-mails, read a book, or reflect on what needs to be done next.

Kirk Coburn, founder of Surge Ventures: Long runs and swims. There is nothing more serene and peaceful than swimming laps. This quiet time allows me to process and digest what is behind and in front of me.

Trey Bowles, founder of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center: Typically the best time for me to think is on an airplane or early in the morning. It is the only time when I don’t have incoming e-mails, texts, phone calls, and interruptions. If I don’t have the luxury of being on a plane or locked in a secret closet, I usually turn off my Internet or e-mail and spend time in a space outside of my office. It allows me to think, reflect, and think through some of our plans for the future.

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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