Thinking outside the box

I‘m used to live in a box - my home. I‘m working in a box - my office. I travel in a box - my car. My thinking is connected with a slip box - my Zettelkasten. And I love all my boxes.

Sometimes I feel the need to think outside the box. Is it possible from within a box?

Questions:

  • What are your preferred places for thinking?
  • If your are outside, do you think inside the box?
  • If you get paid for thinking, where did you earn your money?
2 Likes

Inquiring minds want to know. :wink:
Honestly I think the answer to that one is those who are in Engineering related fields. But I guess that’s not getting paid exclusively for just thinking. I do get paid to think somewhat but I also work for a large Tech company as a technician and have to do experiments and talk with engineers on a regular basis.

As to the former two questions:
I am constantly thinking everywhere. my brain doesn’t stop. Having Obsidian open at my desk is a great help for organizing all of those thoughts and typically that’s where I am doing most of my thinking.
But is it inside the box? OK, it’s a cubicle. But that doesn’t mean my mind is in the box. Some of the Engineers I work with apparently call me a wizard. I just seem to pull out solutions out of thin air. Not boasting. I was rather surprised to hear the reference.

1 Like

I like your answers. Also the idea of getting answers from a wizard :grinning:. Thank you!

Having Obsidian open at my desk is a great help for organizing all of those thoughts and typically that’s where I am doing most of my thinking.

Organizing our thoughts with Obsidian at our desks, but how to collect our fleeting notes? Do you also take notes while walking outside?

I found the quote: All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. — Friedrich Nietzsche

1 Like

Sadly no. I am also focused on trying to maintain a pace and not run into anything so my thought process will often times be very circular due to my ADHD. It’s often a broken record that I have to yell at myself to break when it’s on something silly.
I guess if I wanted to take notes in this situation I could talk out load to a memo recorder app on my phone. It wouldn’t be unlike many pathologists and epidemiologists recording their monologue as they work. I think I saw something about audio recording for obsidian though I haven’t looked into it.
Although some of my work is confidential so this may not be ideal to be walking down the road talking about work.

2 Likes

In a sense, there are no boxes - there is only the world, reality, the present moment, and in our minds we section off different things into ‘boxes’ or categories. We do this in the physical world too.

From that point of view, ultimately you’re not in a box - you’re in the big, wide world, where anything can happen and where you have new experiences and gain new knowledge. Sorting these into boxes is useful as long as it doesn’t ‘box’ in our thinking and our lived experience.

Preferred places for thinking:
If you mean physical places, it varies.
I think of thinking as having two distinct kinds: focused thinking/planning/brainstorming, and what has been called ‘scatter-focus’, where we don’t think about anything in particular and let our minds wander. Good for creativity and synthesising existing ideas in our mind.

For the former I’ll usually do this at my desk in my office.
For the latter, anywhere but my office - the shower, out in nature, etc.

If your are outside, do you think inside the box?
If you mean physically outside, usually not; I do ‘scatter-focus thinking’ mentioned above and usually consider that thinking outside the box.

If you get paid for thinking, where did you earn your money?
I suppose I do, I’m a freelance web designer so part of my job involves thinking up efficient solutions for problems that clients have. If I solve their issues efficiently with my thinking, I earn money :slight_smile:

Hope that helps!

3 Likes

Thank you for help :grinning:. Especially your mentioning of the concepts of „ Hyperfocus vs Scatterfocus“ was very useful for me. With that I could find a great post about this topic: Hyperfocus Versus Scatterfocus: How To Boost Your Productivity. It also leads me to the amazing book „The extended Mind“. And I‘m still learning :grinning:

1 Like