I don’t know about you, but my best ideas rarely come to me while working. My best ideas come to me when my mind has space to think. Why is that?
Scott Dinsmore over at Living Your Legend says that creativity disappears the moment pressure is applied. Pressure often happens when we are in the middle of our work.
For those of us who like to “keep busy” this proves to be a challenge. So many of us have adopted the notion that super productive people burn the candles on both ends.
While taking massive action is something you ought to do, you also need to see the value in creating space to think.
How to Create Space to Think
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I am going to list for you a few helpful tips to help you to create some space in your life.
1. Place a higher value on rest
Rest is not just for the weak and weary. Rest allows us to “sharpen the saw” and renew our spirit. Don’t tell yourself that you have more important things to do. Thinking needs to become a priority for you.
When I first started to do this it became a real challenge for me. My mind and thoughts only went to the stuff I should be doing instead of “resting” or “thinking.” Once it became a habit for me I began to get some wonderful ideas.
2. Whatever you do, go slowly.
You can’t rush into this process. Learn to go slow. Walk slowly. Watch the sunset. Pay attention to the drift of the clouds. Choose slow activities. This allows the pressure of the situation to be removed and gives us space to think. I think this is why the best ideas often happen in the shower. It is relaxing and hard to multitask.
3. Choose to be outside if possible.
There is something magical about being outside. I am specifically talking about nature. I like to take a daily walk outside during one of my breaks. This allows me to change up my priorities and spend some time thinking.
4. Unplug the phone and computer if inside.
If going outside is not possible, then you need to unplug as much as you can indoors. The important thing is to not have an agenda. Just think. Just rest. If you have a whiteboard in your office, write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t be too quick to judge and analyze what you write down. Only think about the possibilities in the beginning.
5. Schedule a think session at least weekly.
What doesn’t get placed on the calendar often never gets done. Look at your calendar right now with me. As you look over the next 7 days, find a block of time to spend alone. If you are working in a corporate environment, maybe it is during your lunch hour. If you work from home, maybe it is Friday morning. Either way, select a think session in the next 7 days before you navigate anywhere else!
Adopting some of the above tips will increase your creativity and even re-energize you when you’re ready to get back to work. Who says a little daydreaming is all that bad?
Question: What do you do to create space to think on a regular basis?