Slow Down your Thinking

Slow Thinking The idea of slow thinking feels contrary to our Western take on problem solving. However, there has been some scientific research that demonstrates that the more patient, slow type of thinking is more effective than deliberate, logical thinking when we are trying to solve a problem that is ill defined; when we don’t know exactly what we are looking for, what the parameters are, or simply where to start.

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You will probably have experienced this already. For example, how often do good ideas come to you at odd moments, maybe in the shower, or when you are on the brink of sleep and your brain waves have slowed but you are still awake? (Incidentally, this is why visualisations are so successful as they take your mind to that point just before sleep but leave you mentally alert).

Allowing your mind time to unwind is not a luxury, or being lazy, but positively good for you. So when you next have a problem to solve don’t force yourself to an answer.


To tap into these slow ways of knowing, or our inner wisdom, we need to throw off for a time our Western need to do everything fast, know why we are doing it, and have a theory to explain it. This was well understood by many of the great thinkers of our time. Einstein, for example, was often found just sitting in his office staring into space and Sir John Harvey Jones (ex-Chair of ICI) said that a meeting without long silences meant that no one was thinking.

In my seminars and courses I always try to build in some reflective space. I encourage participants just to wander for a while, actually or figuratively, to allow some of the ideas and strategies simply to percolate round in their head. It’s something we rarely get a chance to do in the fast paced world of work but it costs little and can greatly enhance your problem solving capacities, your mental well being, and your enjoyment of life!

Slow Thinking Time

Put some time in your diary now. Slow Thinking Time (STT), and see what happens – you may be surprised! And if colleagues scoff, tell them you are employing a well known technique from Einstein!

Suggestions for Further Reading available from Amazon or your local library,
Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind by Guy Claxton

Jane C Woods

Women's Personal Development Specialist - Changing People, -

Hi, I’m Jane C Woods and I have an absolute passion for helping women achieve success in their lives. Be it the glass ceiling, the crystal maze, or very personal issues, I’m all about helping women achieve to their full potential and live the way they want to without being carbon copies of men. But I’m not about putting men down in order for women to get ahead, there’s plenty of room; I just want the guys to shifty up a bit… If my face looks familiar it's because I love Psychologies magazine (I've been buying it since the very first issue, such a good resource) and it's the only place I choose to advertise my courses. I write on women’s issues on my blog,, and am regularly featured in magazines, and on radio, but I’m probably best known for RenewYou. RenewYou is my one day personal development course for women. We have an international network of experienced, specialist women licensed to deliver it and empower women across the globe. Our goal is to reach one million women. It’s a big goal but… In 2013 we started with a single RenewYou specialist, me. Now you can find a RenewYou Courses across the UK, in the USA, Canada, Greece, Bangkok, Pakistan, South Africa, Belgium, with new countries being added all the time. My dream was to create a thriving and caring business on ethical, and dare I say, feminine terms, with a real community spirit of help and encouragement. And it’s actually happening with the support, expertise, and enthusiasm of my wonderful trainers. I think, (apart from my two lovely kids, a daughter and a son) that it’s probably my proudest achievement to date. Wonderful Changing People Women: One of the joys and privileges of my work is that I’ve connected with some really inspirational and wonderful women – from politics to entertainment to academia. They include: TV presenter, house fixer and matchmaker Sarah Beeny Amazing entrepreneur Sam Roddick of Coco de Mer Outspoken and entertaining academic Mary Beard Politicians like Siobhan Benita and Natalie Bennett Ex BBC broadcaster Miriam O’Reilly who bravely took on the might of the BBC- and triumphed A very rare interview with Sarah Montague, of the influential BBC Radio 4 Today programme I hope you like the posts and I hope they are helpful. Live life to the max and never hide your light under any bushels!