In the FT Weekend magazine this week, Tim Harford has set out his experiences with ‘rebooting’ his relationships with digital media and platforms. He logged out of Facebook and Twitter, closed down or deleted a wide range of distracting apps from his phone and carefully monitored how he used other information tools. I found his account of the benefits accrued and how he has sought to find a proper balance of what he really needs to connect to (he is an author and column writer after all) and what he can dispense with, insightful and very helpful; I have been doing something similar for around a month now.
A recent article in the Economist’s Schumpeter column has prompted me back to the keyboard. The piece in question is Philosopher Kings. The author argues that many business leaders would benefit from “inward-bound” short courses where participants explore ideas in great literature and the uses of philosophical concepts. Going beyond the moment-by-moment experiences that mindfulness practices cultivate (although I question this characterisation of mindfulness), an “inward-bound” session would enrich the thinking and inner life of business leaders, providing inspiration for thought and decision-making with refreshed frameworks drawn from the works of philosophers and thinkers whose ideas have had significant impact on how we understand ourselves, each other and the world, and how we act in that world.