My first "Think Week"

At the beginning of this year (2022) I decided that I’d like to introduce a ‘quarterly unplug’ to my routine.

I’ve seen a number of people I follow online use these as an opportunity to ‘recharge’… and, most notably, Bill Gates has openly credited his “Think Weeks” for much of his success.

A “Think Week” is where he disappears into a cabin for a week with nothing but books and his thoughts.

(Note: Bill Gates’ ‘cabin’ is quite different to a typical cabin 😆)

But I always felt like it was a bit of a gimmick… surely it’s just an excuse you get to make from a privileged position to justify having regular time off, whilst everyone else continues to work like donkeys just to keep things ticking over?

Despite my split feelings about having my own “Think Weeks”, we booked a long weekend (4 days) in the Isle of Wight, which I figured I’d use it as an opportunity to conduct my own.

Instead of working, taking calls / meetings and responding to team messages constantly… I ran, read, ate, laughed with friends, walked along the beach with my girlfriend and stayed in a lovely little cottage in the middle of nowhere.

I found that the space I gave myself from the usual business of life really did give me a chance to not just ‘recharge’, but to ponder on all the things that I have going on… just from a little further away.

This brief change in perspective renewed my confidence in the things I’m doing well right now, and it made me more critical of the things I’m not doing as well at.

Although I wasn’t away from long, I did feel a little more energised (not because Think Weeks are magical, but because rest is important and will usually have that effect on you, lol) and also better aligned with my short and medium terms goals.

Just ‘working like a donkey’ constantly doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re working on the right things in the right way. At least that’s what I’ve found to be true for me. It’s easy to veer off course.

If you’ve not taken an intentional think week before, I’d recommend it. It doesn’t need to be a full week, you don’t need to travel anywhere and you don’t need any kind of a special ritual…

Just use the time to view yourself and your life from a little further away… give yourself space from life’s most immediate stresses, challenges, demands and so on.

Also, take a good book… I was reading “Key Person of Influence” and “Ukraine Diaries”. Both are listed on my Amazon reading list here.

I plan to do three more Think Weeks this year, and refer to them as my “Quarterly Unplug”. If they yield any profound thoughts or insights, I’ll share them here.

I’d love to know if you try this for yourself. Feel free to let me know via email or social media.

Your friend,

Jonah

Subscribe to Jonah Cockshaw

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
[email protected]
Subscribe