I live a mile from Mt. Si, a popular hiking trail that attracts over 80,000 hikers annually. On sunny weekends, I avoid the crowds by running on more obscure trails. About 9 miles into my long run, as the quiet breeze clears my head, the peacefulness (and lack of crowds) gets me thinking. Crowd sourcing, wisdom of crowds and social networks are all the rage, and for good reasons. We tap into crowds to source new information, follow consumer led ideas, and participate in meaningful conversations.
No doubt the wisdom of the crowd has greatly impacted all facets of social and business life – but let’s not forget about the wisdom of the mind – your mind. We are so busy sifting through masses of information from blogs, RSS feeds and Twitter, that we forget to take some alone time to just think.
Here’s an idea. Schedule one hour per week as “think time” where you take a break from crowd sourcing and let your mind wonder or be inspired by something new. View a new art exhibit. Draw a picture of your thoughts. Take a walk down an unknown street. Follow your thoughts wherever they may lead. You’re bound to return to work feeling refreshed and energized.