Thinking versus Doing

Danny Stone
7 min readJan 18, 2021

How to Manage Your Time

How much time do you spend thinking about a problem before trying to solve it? Do you rush straight into a burning house or do you take a step back to first look at the floorplan?

Thinking involves creating steps for doing tasks, analysing and exploring multiple methods, looking for opportunities and threats, deciding the needs of a task, looking at the bigger picture, and finding the necessary tools for the job.

Doing involves carefully following predetermined plans, actioning items effectively and efficiently, creative ‘on the fly’ thinking and problem solving, and using all required resources towards the successful completion or implementation of a task.

In order to start doing action points on any project, detailed thought and planning are crucial. Thinking begets doing, but how much thought is necessary to execute a solid strategy? We will be exploring two different approaches to problem solving and project management, one focusing on the “thinking” and the other focusing on the “doing”.

The “Thinking” Approach

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” – Albert Einstein

This approach highlights the benefits of strategic thinking to fully explore a problem instead of just trying to solve the immediate issue at hand. When you take the time to explore every facet of the problem, the chances are good that you might find more issues that need addressing, nuances of the problem you might have missed at first glance and a more holistic view of how this problem, and potential solutions, could affect other parts of your business or project.

By focusing your time on strategic thinking, you eliminate the ‘one size fits all’ problem solving trap that lots of teams fall into. You also make smarter decisions in the long term, because all of your project management and problem solving take into account your goals for the entire project instead of just this one part of it. The “Thinking” approach to a project means that you will spend most of your time strategically thinking about issues and opportunities and will only act on anything once planning is thoughtfully laid out.

Danny Stone

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