This article is published in Inc. com - see below for the link.
Warren Buffett, the CEO of the fourth largest company in the country, isn't as busy as you are. By his own estimate, he has spent 80% of his career reading and thinking.
"That's what created [one of the] world's most successful business records in history. He has a lot of time to think," Charlie Munger, Buffett's long-time business partner, has said of his unusual approach to productivity.
For most people, Buffett's wide-open schedule is totally counter-intuitive. It goes against everything we think we know about what a leader does. Reading about the Elon Musks and Jeff Immelts of the world leads us to assume that business greatness means little sleep, and even less time with loved ones. Immelt, for example, has worked 100 hours per week for his entire career.
Buffett's schedule may seem like an anomaly. In reality, he's a trailblazer. Thanks in part to his example, over the past few years, several high-profile CEOs have come out against the norm of constant busyness. They argue that critical thinking time is essential in a complex, rapidly-changing digital economy.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, for instance, makes his executives spend 10% of their day, or four hours per week, just thinking. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, schedules 2 hours of uninterrupted thinking time per day. Jack Dorsey is a serial wanderer. Bill Gates is famous for taking a week off twice a year just to reflect deeply without interruption.
I try and do the same. I set aside time every week for thinking, preferably while skiing, boating or hiking. I believe that, whatever your business type or size, you can and should make time for it too.
Thanks for reading, Claudia
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