I have a 37 mile commute each way to work every day and about a year ago, I started filling those minutes with podcasts. The more I think of it, I’m not sure this was the best idea.
Here’s my basic itinerary on a normal workday:
- Wake up, get ready for work, sit in a car listening to random podcast.
- Arrive at work, put on headphones, listen to music.
- Go to lunch, listen to podcast.
- Back at work, more music.
- Drive home, listen to podcast.
That’s a pretty sweet schedule right? Except I realize I haven’t set time aside to think. Work isn’t the place to spend time with my thoughts, I’m busy working and the 45 minutes in my car each way would be golden opportunity but I’m too busy listening to Myke Hurley or Dan Benjamin. When I get home, I have 2 dogs and a wife competing for my attention so any chance to delve into my thoughts is long gone. I’m not complaining, my girls are the best things in my life but I simply don’t spend enough time internalizing my thoughts. I don’t spend any time figuring out what I truly feel about anything because I purposely bury any chance of quiet time.
The takeaway is simple, take some time from your day to devote to your own thoughts. Don’t fill your ears with music or voices, set aside time to ruminate on things. You don’t have to be Socrates but the more time you’re concentrating on outside stimuli, the less you can spend thinking.
“Thinking: The talking of the soul with itself” – Plato
It’s easy to discount our thoughts as silly but time spent in introspection is beneficial to our brains. Don’t spend all your time in someone else’s world, spend some between your own ears.