It’s hard to imagine that Professor would long for the time when smoking was more common. But it’s not for the reasons that you might think. When people used to take “smoke breaks” they would have time to be alone with their thoughts and figure some things out. However, the growing dependence on smartphones and the decreasing number of “smoke breaks” is what this professor believes a big modern problem.
If you are still working or volunteering than there is no doubt that you are spending a lot of your time sending emails or sitting in meetings. This is a problem that one professor in the UK believes is causing a lot of people to make big mistakes down the line. Professor Andrew Spicer set up two deck chairs and a sign that reads “Pop-up Philosophy. Stop, Sit, and Just Think”.
The point that the Professor is trying to make is that in a modern world that seems to reward those who are always busy, smart people are being forced into meaningless tasks just to “fill a void.” It is considered a “waste of time” if people just stop and ponder a problem or work on an idea. Professor Spicer thinks that intelligence and problem solving can actually work against you with other people. He told the ABC, “sometimes people get threatened when too many tough questions are asked. In the short-term, it pays, things happen, but in the longer term it can lead to big mistakes being made.”
It’s not something that can be rushed either. Professor Spicer believes that “Five minutes, ten minutes is a waste of time”. Before adding, “But we spend three or four hours a day wasting our time doing things like emails or sitting in pointless meetings.
“So, why can’t we sit outside and think about our assumptions or ideas?”
Professor Spicer’s suggestion is that if you a problem or just need a recharge for your daily tasks then you need to sit down with no distractions and let the mind work it over. No technology, no books, just your mind and some space outside. While it might seem silly doing this once a day will make you more productive and able to problem solve a bit more and cut down on silly mistakes because you were rushed.
What do you think? Do we all need to slow down and just think before we do things?