Before we dig into how to conduct a think break of your own, I want to give a huge shout-out to my friend, Mike Schmitz. I enlisted Mike’s help in writing this article, partly because he’s an advocate for think breaks, and partly because he discusses them often on his great podcast, Focused.
In addition to co-hosting Focused, Mike and his wife, Rachel, have five kids. It was great hearing his perspective on how he keeps his time balanced and sees the value in think breaks, even when he has so much going on at work and at home.Last week I published a longread on what I learned while taking a think week, inspired by one of Bill Gates’ yearly rituals.
On the surface, a think break may seem out-of-reach for a lot of people—but I’d argue that taking one is possible regardless of your situation, provided you plan ahead of time. My friend Mike Schmitz (mentioned in the box above) also pushes back against the idea that think breaks are an unnecessary—or even selfish—luxury, including when you have a busy family life.
“The clarity the break provides makes everything else in your life easier,” Mike told me. “Think about the last time you flew on an airplane. They tell you before you even take off to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting anyone else. I view the think break as my oxygen mask.