Mental Model

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  • What you will learn – a technique to discover new ideas and business opportunities that can have a profound impact on your life and contributions to the world.
  • Why it’s important – the hustle and bustle of daily life rarely offer the opportunity to learn and think deeply about where you can focus your career path.
  • The outcome – you will identify a date for a day, weekend, or week to dedicate yourself to reading and shaping an action plan.


Adopt one of Bill’s best practices.

There is a reason why he escapes to read and think.

It changes the world for the better.

You can easily do the same.

Plan a Think Week.


1 – Escape your normal routine for a week (or weekend).

Get away from your routine to learn.

Start with a weekend. Then try a week getaway.

Leave your normal work routines aside.

2 – Choose a destination where you control the interruptions.

Let your friends, family, and colleagues know you need silence for reading and thinking.

Stay off your phone – quickly check email only for must-do’s.

Find a place that is quiet and you can go on a walk to think.

3 – Bring a bag of books to read.

Research a topic or topics you are interested in.

Think about problems you would like to solve or learn about.

Gather books leading up to your think week.

4 – Deeply study new ideas and content.

Take notes on the key ideas that resonate with you as you read.

Think about how those ideas could be combined to solve a problem worth addressing.

5 – Summarize key discoveries into an action plan.

Summarize your new point of view.

Embrace your newfound discovery into an action plan to make it real.

Focus part of your action plan on improving your life, even in a small way.

6 – Put your newfound insight into motion.

Execute your action plan with small wins that will accrue to your goal.

Reflect on how you changed your life and those of others.

Look forward to your next think week.

Experiment With This

  • Disconnect from activities that consume your attention. Read instead of watching TV or a movie. Don’t turn on the TV for at least a week.
  • A suitable environment for learning can reduce friction for making it happen more easily. How can I find or alter my environment or schedule for reading and thinking peacefully?
  • Envision yourself going away for a week to read. What do you want to think about and learn that will shape what you do in the near future?


Bill Gates took solo ‘think weeks’ in a cabin in the woods—why it’s a great strategy