AOL's CEO Makes His Executives Spend 10% Of Their Time Just Thinking Every Day

Here’s an interesting management thing from AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. 

He makes his executives spend 10% of their day, or 4 hours per week, just thinking. 

We first saw this at the FT. There’s no real explanation for why Armstrong does it. An AOL PR person told the FT, 10% of thinking time is something “Tim believes in and urges us to do.”

In a book about distractions, Armstrong is quoted as saying, “This has been a total game changer for me and for AOL. The companies that take this seriously will have a major strategic advantage in the years to come.”

The FT snarks at the idea, saying that if he’s telling his managers to spend 10% of their time thinking, it suggests that they’re not thinking the other 90% of the time.

That’s a simplistic view. 

Executives get so busy running around, meeting with people, and working on predetermined plans that they probably forget to set some time aside to just think about what they’re doing and what they should be doing. 

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