“I believe in walking around” to enhance productivity

Jeff Bezos doesn't pack his agenda or set strict schedules for all his meetings.

Instead, the 60-year-old founder of Amazon and Blue Origin – currently the second richest person in the world, According to Forbes – He gives himself and his team enough time to think creatively, Tell “Lex Friedman Podcast.”

“I don't stick to a strict schedule,” Bezos said, in an episode first released in December 2023. “My meetings often take longer than I plan, because I believe in their importance.” [mind] wandering.”

For example, Bezos makes time during meetings for people to bounce ideas off each other, no matter how small or spontaneous, he said, a process he calls “chaotic meeting.” He added that these sessions usually do not have a specific time to end.

“When I sit down [in] “I don't know how long the meeting would take if we were trying to solve a problem,” Bezos said. “The reality is that we may have to ramble for a long time… I think there's certainly nothing more fun than sitting at a whiteboard with a bunch of smart people and talking and coming up with new ideas and objections to those ideas, and then offering solutions to the objections and going back and forth.”

“A lot of people feel that roaming is ineffective,” he added Studies show A divergent mind can enhance a person's productivity, creativity, and happiness.

Mind wandering versus time blocking

Some productivity experts swear by The time blocking method, which involves blocking specific time blocks in your calendar for each task that needs to be accomplished each day — sometimes including meal breaks and coffee conversations.

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But this strategy can leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, Laurie Santos, a psychology professor at Yale University, told attendees at SXSW in March. Meanwhile, A 2016 study Among more than 200 college students found that their creativity significantly improved when they allowed their minds to wander.

If you're the type who gets overwhelmed by a busy schedule, making time to let your mind wander can help you come up with ideas you might not have thought of in a more structured schedule — provided you do so effectively rather than simply zone out, says psychologist Jill Suttie books For UC Berkeley's Greater Good magazine in 2018.

When a problem arises in the workplace or at school, take some time away from distractions — like your phone or a series of unread emails — and try to come up with a range of solutions, both big and small, and then remove them from your colleagues. To bring them closer.” It may seem counterintuitive, but taking a break from your work routine to let your mind wander can sometimes be the most effective way to solve a problem that's been leaving you feeling stuck.

“Under the right circumstances, a wandering mind may benefit us and perhaps those around us,” Sotie wrote. “The trick is to know when to free your mind.”

Bezos' approach to mind wandering

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