I don't get to spend as much time alone as I would like. Don't get me wrong. I love my wife and cats and friends, but I have always required alone time. Time to recharge. Time to think. Time to reflect.
Recently my Friday lunch hours have become my alone time. Last Friday I went to Half Price Books, browsed and purchased a couple of Legend of Drizzt paperbacks. Since I was close to a Bo Lings Chinese restaurant, I decided to grab some food.
Sitting alone and not talking to anyone I was able to get some much needed brain time. Ideas started flooding in. It was nice. I tried to read one of the paperbacks I just purchased, but new ideas kept me from concentrating on the words I was trying to read. I kept settling on the idea that was generating about a table top RPG (roll playing game.) After some serious thinking and eating (Bo Lings makes the best General Tao's chicken in the city) it was time to head back to the office.
On my way home it started to sink in that I don't get a lot of time to think like this. My world is full of many distractions. Most self imposed, but they are distractions none the less. Usually my alone time is filled with Modern Warfare 3 on the Xbox or surfing the web or tv channels. All those things I consider distractions from using my brain.
I realized that the hour and a half that I was away I had done more real thinking than I probably do in a week. I'm talking personal type of thinking. Work thinking does not count in this example. I came up with ideas for a book and an RPG. Just in 90 minutes. Just think what I could do if I did this for larger chunks of time each week.
So, on my drive back to the home-office I realized I'm too distracted. If I'm not playing a video game or watching tv, I'm probably on twitter (computer or phone) or some other mindless activity. I decided that I was going to take back my brain time. I needed to get back to some creative thinking while recharging my batteries. I used to spend hours drawing, reading, working statistics (don't judge), and other quiet and creative activities. I'm going to try to get those moments going again. If anything it will feel good to be creative again. Wish me luck.