For a few weeks a year, Bill Gates takes a break from his normal routine, isolates himself with reading material and lets his mind wander, often returning to his staff with groundbreaking ideas. Though the rest of us may not have the flexibility in our schedules to spend a week pondering ideas, it could be helpful to replicate Gates' brainstorming periods on a smaller scale, Josh Linkner suggests. Try working two one-hour thinking sessions into your schedule this week. Go to a museum or park to spark your imagination, and see what you come up with.

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