Thinking and Time

On various timescales needed for thinking and research

  • weekly/monthly/yearly reviews are a great tool for metacognition
  • deliberately spending time on thinking:
    • morning pages - brain dump as (ideally) first thing in the morning
    • scheduling most productive time for thinking / research instead of other people's priorities (like client work)
  • longer breaks is something I want to explore further
  • art residencies are a great way to develop a focused idea, I'm curious if they could be a good place to think
  • academia has interesting thinking-cycle:
    • some days are more teaching, some days are more for research
    • summer break with no students for longer-term work
    • sabbaticals for taking a bigger step back
  • understanding requires effort, and effort requires time

An important part of any art is for the artists to escape the "part of the present that is the past", and for most artists, this is delicate because the present is so everywhere and loud and interruptive. For individual contributors, a good ploy is to disappear for a while.

Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails - Alan Kay, Bret Victor

  • tools like writing allow for growing ideas over long periods of time (if deliberately used to do so)
  • spaced repetition for re-triggering thoughts on a given topic is also relevant here - to prompt me to repeatedly come back to my ideas-in-progress
  • references: