Monday, December 3, 2007

Soft skills from Ben Dr eBay 02

This an extension of time management. It is about squeezing out any of the available time and use it productively. What Ben suggested is that when you are travelling on a bus or train, you will be doing nothing much except standing, sitting or staring at the passing scenery. So, make use of this "idle time" to think of things.

Why think of things?
Part of time management, is to plan and think ahead of what are the things to do to achieve your goals or objectives. So, all this planning and thinking ahead will require quite a bit thinking through. The more challenging your objectives are, the more thoughts you will have to put through to come up with creative and workable solutions.

How the thought process is like?
The thought process is most probably like... to get to here... I will need to do this then this then this... and what other ways that can get there also... It can be a thought experiment to see or find out the end results of certain actions. It is like..."if I do this... I get this. If I use another method... then I will get this." It can be used quickly to get through the various possible methods or ways to achieve your desired result and find out which is the best one. There are several requirement to do this well. These are experience, ability to think critically, ability to generate ideas, etc.

A most notable example is Albert Einstein and this famous thought experiment of visualising of traveling alongside a beam of light and what are the things or effects he will see. This how he was able to come up with his famous theory of Special Relativity. Other famous examples are the Schrödinger's cat which is an imaginary experiment or a thought experiment by Erwin Schrödinger.

Using it effectively, it may probably help you to save time and resources from doing things or tasks that may not work or generate the desired results. So, you might need to test out the ideas and correlate the actual result with the thought results. By doing so, you will gain the confidence and experience to achieve better results in the future.

Other ways of finding more time for your thoughts can be like, waiting in a queue or waiting for someone, watch less tv program, etc. Basically, brain idle time and it has to be when there isn't any danger to you when you are deep in thoughts. (Sometimes some people might call this spacing out) So what is your way of squeezing out more time for productivity?

During my meeting with Ben, I was quite puzzled that he stop talking at one point of time and was looking through a free magazine while I was staring at him. A kind of odd silence and maybe a little bit rude... maybe... but I realised later that he is actually letting his brain work out a bit to think through things and consider whether I'm suitable to be his student. That day, he was a little bit sick and was thinking slower than usual. Thanks for meeting me even when you are not feeling that well.