Next week, I’ll take my twice-annual Think Days. I’ve been doing this since 2018—two days every six months for nothing but reading, journaling, and thinking.

Ahead of time, the idea always feels frivolous and not worth the time. Clearing two full days from one’s calendar is a lot to ask! Afterwards, it feels essential. I achieve so much clarity during those unbroken hours of thought that I wonder how I made any progress in life before I started taking Think Days. Indeed, most of the major positive changes I’ve made in the past 2.5 years have come as a result of Think Days.

Serious self-reflection is an investment in one’s future. A couple of days of lost productivity is a small price to pay for a deeper level of insight into ourselves and how we can live more effectively. If you need a chance to step off the treadmill and reflect, put a Think Day or two on your calendar.