At least once per week, schedule out time simply to plan and think. Be sure to put it on your calendar as a meeting, so others don’t see the time as available. Some of our best work is done when we’re able to take a step back from the task at hand. If you can, take a short walk outside during your thinking time, or walk around the halls to get your blood moving. Thinking time is incredibly valuable, and guarding it as a regular practice will make you much more effective at your job.