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Making Time to Reflect and Contemplate

January 08, 2022

Currently listening to: Christopher Larkin - Hollow Knight (OST)

As I was getting ready for a run this morning I realised that I had failed to sync something to listen to my watch. Normally, I would take my phone instead but as it was raining I opted to leave it at home.

As I was running, the rain gently patting on my head, something striking dawned on me, I was truly alone with my thoughts and I couldn’t remember the last time I was in this situation. How sad, and interesting. Like many people, I try to maximise my time by listening to podcasts and audiobooks or watching YouTube, during other activities such as exercise, cooking and walking the dog. At the end of the day, I get in bed and read until I’m ready to sleep.

In the last year, I started reading every day. Reading every day is no bad thing — to quote Warren Buffet: “Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up like compound interest.” — but reading is only half of the picture. We need to regularly reflect and contemplate our learnings. This is true not only to help the knowledge stick but also to discover connections with your recent learnings and thoughts.

When I opened this markdown file, I typed the title I had in my head: “Finding Time to Reflect and Contemplate”. Focusing on that title, I realised the mistake I am making; trying to find time instead of making time.

The problem with finding time for an activity is that you have not prioritised it, therefore it competes for your time against everything else, and as it offers little immediate benefit, it will likely lose to something that offers instant gratification.

By making time you are prioritising and committing.

Going forward, I’ve committed to reflecting on my week every Sunday. I’ll ask myself, what went well this week? and what didn’t? what did I learn? and so on. Finally, I’ll share anything interesting here on my blog.

After all, there’s no better way to ensure you understand something than to write about it.


Code & photography. Personal blog of Arran White.