Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 67 – Would A Bill Gates Think Week Work For You?

Dear Leaders, 

This week I learnt that Bill Gates takes a week off every year for a ‘think week’. 

Bill went so far in going to a wood cabin miles away from anyone to think. 

Although not all of us have this luxury or set up, it is something we could, maybe should consider.

One think week (in 1995) was so famous it helped him to think of Internet Explorer. 

As a huge believer in making and taking the time I truly believe that these weeks would be ideal for many of us. 

Replacing Old Habits

As I suggest in the recent unspoken costs of a leader, it can take so long to relax or fight to find some time, these weeks might just be great to replace the numerous offsites we all have to attend at certain times where you have likely wasted previously. 

Daily Breaks 

One of the best things I built into my previous schedule was to block out three times in the day to think, (1) deep work for the morning, (2) a long walk in and around lunch and (3) coffee break(s) away from the office, generally outside to refresh the environment and take in the fresh air.  

Another tactic I employed was arranging walk and talk meetings where the majority of it was one problem and discussing the possibilities. 

Mini Breaks 

Many large company executives openly looked forward to air travel so they would be offline and could either catch up or have time to think and develop out their thoughts. 

Last summer I spoke to a retiring CEO who would book the same hotel every couple of months and would tell people he was away, the fun part was it was only fifteen-minute walk from his home. 

3 Day Breaks

At a business I consulted with, the leadership team would take a long weekend every quarter, Thursday, Friday and Monday’s, they would take 36 hours to work independently and then the final day would come together, present and create solutions that further collaborate on with their company. 

Think Week For You? 

With the right planning, would a ‘think week’ work for you?  Five days away from the office (or home office) or remote workspace where you dedicated time to thinking and creating a solution or two. 

I know my extra-large Moleskine (pic), three different colour pens and regular walks have created some of the best ideas and business shaping solutions I have had and many others have suggested a similar process works for them.

So this week, consider how a think week might work for you, or you and a few select individuals who would benefit from time off the grid. 

Will you be trying it? 

Thanks and have a great week.  

Danny Denhard

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