Have a Think

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719107

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Have a Think

  • istvanszucs3

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 513

    Great advice, I couldn't agree more! The best ideas to solve problems or the foresight to see potential problems in projects that are yet to arise usually come to me not when I'm working on the actual thing but when I just think about it. I rarely do this pondering though as a dedicated time, but my mind keeps chipping away at problems when I'm commuting on my bike or do some other non-related activity (the common thread being that I'm not in front of the computer).

  • John Corkett

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2041

    Hi

    Thinking time is essential. We need to take time to sit back and think about the way forward or the big picture.

    My thinking time is usually on my commute - either when I'm cycling to work at 5:30 on a morning when the roads are quiet or when I'm crawling along in traffic. These times would otherwise seem to be wasted but they are very productive for me. I find I could have been working on a problem all day and then illumination comes on the way home. In particular (may be due to the amount of blood pumping through my brain!), I find some of my best ideas have come when I'm cycling.

  • Yet Another DBA

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4299

    Yep very useful, but its the style that mangers often complain about.

    On different occasions and companies, I have had managers saying that I wasn't working and staring into space or doodling. On all the occasions I then pointed out that the my computers +spares were basically suffering from tachycardia from running automated tests etc. and I was thinking about the various issues. Certainly they had the mind-set of if you not pounding the keyboard then you aren't working.

    Saying that though there have managers who have also encouraged as long as the work has been done.

  • Tepluken

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 149

    Terrific advice. I always take a walk at the end of the day. Usually I will listen to a podcast as I walk to pass the time; however once a week I will simply ditch the headphones,. I have found that walking While thinking allows me to gain insight into issues which have been baffling me

  • Neil Burton

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 22179

    John Corkett (10/1/2015)


    Hi

    Thinking time is essential. We need to take time to sit back and think about the way forward or the big picture.

    My thinking time is usually on my commute - either when I'm cycling to work at 5:30 on a morning when the roads are quiet or when I'm crawling along in traffic. These times would otherwise seem to be wasted but they are very productive for me. I find I could have been working on a problem all day and then illumination comes on the way home. In particular (may be due to the amount of blood pumping through my brain!), I find some of my best ideas have come when I'm cycling.

    It's running for me. Thinking about a problem I've got at work stops me worrying about where my next breath is going to come from. I've had some true moments of clarity slogging up the hills around BWFC Towers.


    On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
    —Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

    How to post a question to get the most help http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537

  • gvoshol 73146

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3175

    My thinking time usually comes about 2:00-4:00 in the morning, when I can't sleep. Sometimes good ideas do come to me then.

  • kate.fletcher 80760

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 141

    This is GREATadvice. I would go further and say my best solutions to difficult technical problems often come when I'm asleep! wake up in the morning and the answer's there. I firmly believe when my conscious mind closes down, my subconscious thinks "At last! Space to get the answer out of that filing cabinet right at the back - I know it's in there somewhere..."

    To those of you who said management won't let them take the time out-

    a few years back a jumior colleague came to me with a difficult SQL problem, and I just didn't have time to make time to help him like I usually would. I said "It's either X or maybe Y, or you could try Z but I think X is the most likely. Take a walk round the block, enjoy the sunshine, and then come back and fix it." later that day I asked how he got on. He smiled and said he'd walked round the block and while daydreaming, the answer came to him....

  • shoestringdba

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6206

    Usually after I've finished coding some particular piece or resolving some issue, I take a walk out to our back entrance (we have a decent-sized landing near our loading docks) or just take a lap around the warehouse area.

    It got to the point where one supervisor quipped: "I can tell when you've got some heavy coding going on because you start wandering by my office."

    There are other times when I just stare at a couple blank files in whatever IDE I'm using or just lean back and stare at the ceiling.

    I remember reading a series of kid's books (or maybe they're called Young Adult Fiction these days) where this gang of kids would solve some mystery or other. There was one bespectacled character who would lean back in his chair against the wall, put his hands behind his head and stare off into space. All the other kids would wait in dead silence until the front legs of his chair hit the floor again. At that point he had "the plan" all thought out and they'd run off and solve the problem.

    I always thought that was the coolest character and in a way, I'm him , now...

    ____________
    Just my $0.02 from over here in the cheap seats of the peanut gallery - please adjust for inflation and/or your local currency.

  • Brad Allison

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3540

    This is great advice that I will share with my small team of SQL Server developers I work with. I usually give them some daily technical inspiration and this is the topic I will share with them. I have always advised slowing down and don't over think a simple solution to a task (which I, myself, am very guilty of - latest was working on an issue with an SSAS cube and dimensions). Great article and inspiration for the morning

  • MiguelSQL

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3079

    Very good advice.

    I've found that in order to think, I need to put my mind at rest first... I need to "not think, clear my brain". Then the great ideas come.

    Lately, I've taken up fishing. I'm not very good at it and even when I don't catch anything, it helps me to think and look at problems from a different perspective.

    So, now the question is... if you are actually working on a customer issue, can your thinking time be billable?

  • akljfhnlaflkj

    SSC Guru

    Points: 76202

    gvoshol 73146 (10/1/2015)


    My thinking time usually comes about 2:00-4:00 in the morning, when I can't sleep. Sometimes good ideas do come to me then.

    So true. I've had those moments.

  • RonKyle

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 31482

    I have found that walking While thinking allows me to gain insight into issues

    Me, too.

  • dkennard

    Valued Member

    Points: 61

    I highly recommend the recorded 2 Day lecture from David Allen called "Getting Things Done". It focuses on think time as well as how to categorize and manage the endless inputs our brains have. A key distinction that needs to be appreciated is your brain cannot distinguish between work tasks/projects and personal tasks/projects. Thinking about how you have to get your tires changed while sitting at work is a perfect example. The 2 day lecture breaks down tasks & projects into a manageable process so you can free up your mental RAM from computing tasks to thinking about projects.

    Here is a good thread on "Getting Things Done" & "The Secret Weapon" combined with Evernote. https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/63718-the-secret-weapon-vs-gtd-evernote-for-windows-david-allen/

    The secret weapon website - http://www.thesecretweapon.org/the-secret-weapon-manifesto/a-better-way

  • dhsweg

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 248

    I can't remember who said it (it was either Will Rogers or maybe George Bernard Shaw), but they said they took 15 minutes every day to just think.

    I have just started doing this as I've been thrown some problems to solve that nobody else wants to do. The time spent just thinking has made all the difference. I love that epiphany moment...'ah-HAH! I've got it!'

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply