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‹ View all articles 21st September 2018

Have we lost the habit to ‘sit and think’?

Women’s Leadership Sarah Lloyd-HughesSarah Lloyd-Hughes

My toddler and I are big fans of the BBC’s brilliant pre-school cartoon series, Sarah & Duck. What’s remarkable about her versus her brash kids’ TV peers is that she’s quiet, creative and kind to others. No comedy violence, no annoying songs and her favourite pastime is having a good Sit and Think with her mate Duck. 

It got me thinking – in this digital crazy age, what incredible wisdom from this little cartoon figure. The permission to take a pause and get some headspace.

I’ve been watching as digital technology encroaches into our headspace over the past decade.  If our phones were a person, they’d be a needy, attention seeking chatterbox – the friend in the A-level library revision group who’d derail your concentration to show you a picture of someone’s bottom from a biology textbook.

We’re habitually chasing after quick answers, emails, the notification that pings into our attention… and all the time we’re doing this, we’re missing out on a fundamental and simple privilege – the time to Sit and Think.

You might wonder what the problem is, after all, when you’re doing, you’re achieving, right?

In my personal experience, that’s often the precise opposite of what’s happening.

Unless I have time to Sit and Think, my activities can very quickly get mindless.

Whilst I may be high on activity, I become low on purpose and low on reflection and learning. I might be ticking off things on my list, but I’m not achieving something of genuine importance. And, by the way, it’s exhausting.

It’s a very modern disease I see in my female leader clients – that the rush to achieve (at work, at home, in the wider world) prevents them from Sitting and Thinking what it is they wanted to achieve in the first place.

When we give ourselves time to Sit and Think we can create a vision.

When we create a vision, we can say yes to the activities and habits that help us and no to activities and habits that hinder us or achieve little.

When we have a vision, we can take charge of the narrative, rather than chasing someone else’s.

Part of my work for female leaders is carving out some time to Sit and Think about your Vision – and the future impact you’d like to create in the world.

We do this in our Vision Hunt, a month-long programme for senior women who want to get clear about what’s important to them. We give you the Sit and Think time to luxuriate in answering the question ‘What do I want?

If you’d like to know more, drop me a line.

Meanwhilst, I’m switching off laptop to have a good Sit and Think, just like my mates Sarah & Duck.

 

Sarah Lloyd-Hughes

About Sarah Lloyd-Hughes

The UK’s leading inspiring speaking expert & best-selling author. Sarah Lloyd-Hughes is a multiple-award winning public speaking coach, founder of Ginger Training & Coaching and author of “How to be Brilliant at Public Speaking” (Pearson).

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