JT says Empty Time is Catalyst for Creativity

In an interview, singer/songwriter and Kennedy Center Honoree, James Taylor, says he needs a few days of empty time before creating anything. What is empty time?…..JT responded, “There used to be this thing called boredom. And it pretty much has been eradicated. It doesn’t exist anymore. But it turns out that a lot of things got done when you were bored.”

I do not suggest we incorporate boredom as a practice into our corporate culture, but I absolutely advocate regularly carving out “thinking time”. Scheduling time to observe, study, ponder, and reflect allows us to ideate and dream, open our minds to new possibilities, and fuel the process of innovation. “Thinking time” creates balance between doing our work and processing the outcomes to produce meaning and value.

As my corporate clients and professional colleagues race from one meeting to another, juggling a heavy load of projects, creating balance is an elusive goal. But “think time” is a critical corporate investment. Jokingly, I often assure my clients that my job as a consultant is to be their brain. But, it is true! I manage project details, keep progress on-track, and process, so my teams have time to apply the value and meaning for innovation.

I do not always get the balance right, however I do understand that freeing myself from doing anything can be my most productive time. Thank you James for the reminder!

How do you create “think time” in your busy schedule and what does that time look like and feel like?

Leave A Comment