Earlier this month, my good buddy, Mike Karnjanaprakorn, Founder / CEO of Skillshare, stopped by our place in the Catskills for a few hours. He was just coming off his seventh ‘Think Week.’ Over lunch, Mike explained the inspiration behind this annual ritual and outlined the basic structure he has used over the years. He even wrote a useful blog post about his experience a few days later.
Mike initially got this idea from Bill Gates, who takes these weeks several times a year to find inspiration and go deep into a few areas of interest. Bill would also read a variety of essays and briefs written and submitted by Microsoft employees and researchers. In fact, Bill dedicated one of his Think Weeks in the 90s to understand the coming wave known as the internet (see his memo, “The Internet Tidal Wave”). Several other friends have recently taken a Think Week. This includes Dan Teran from Managed by Q who swore by his experience diving deeply into the future of work.
After talking with Mike and Dan, I decided to plan my own Think Week since I’m in a career transition and likely won’t have much downtime once I decide to go full force into my next endeavor. My first order of business was to block out five days on the calendar. Rather than flying by the seat of my pants once the Think Week kicked off, I dedicated a half a day to develop a list of simple rules, set goals, clean out my Pocket, and select dozens of essays and articles. I reasoned that having structure in place would help me focus and get the most out of my experience.Read More