Every so often, I've been asked if it's all right to bill for time thinking about a client's problem -- not reading, not writing, not meeting, just thinking. This was a frequent subject of debate when I was a young lawyer at a big firm.
Does it matter where you're thinking? I sometimes go to Central Park with a little note pad and think. Though I'm in the park, I'm free of the stimulus and distraction of home and office, and the park, while stimulating, is less distracting.
I think about a client's problem. I may make a note or two if thoughts occur, or I just remember them. This has been productive. But sometimes it's not productive.
And what if I'm on the bus going to work? I find being in a public place is not unlike isolation. Anonymous in the city. Zoning out. I'm good at that.
So then the slippery slope takes me into thinking about whether it's okay to bill for thinking in the shower.
If thinking at my desk is okay (is it?)-- or thinking while typing and letting the keyboard lead me to an answer (that does work, thinking with your fingers, I'm doing it right now) -- why not thinking in the park with a note pad?
I have a view but I'll hold off so as not to influence your thinking.