Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stepping Away to Accelerate Progress

It's obvious to everyone that just before you drop, you should rest. Holidays are often seen as ways to ward off collapse from fatigue or burn out. When absolutely necessary, rest for a short time and then get back into the swing of things. This necessity arises at different times for different people in different kinds of work. For entrepreneurs, it arises just before they crash (if they're lucky).

This isn't the best way to think productively. If we use the word "creative" lots of people feel they can sidestep the value of rest because they do not see themselves as "creative." For many years, I thought that having a research degree in a competitive field meant that I was an analytical thinker. I am, of course, an analytical thinker but it turns out that in no way also prevents me from being the kind of thinker who produces stuff: words and ideas and motivation and innovation.

You might not be a creative person but it is likely that if you are reading this, you are a person who cares about thinking well and that, to you, thinking well means thinking so that you can have a tangible impact on other people or situations. You want something to show for your thinking. You want to think in a way that produces a desired result. That means you want to create.

The best creative thinking comes from taking a rest. Work really hard. Learn lots about the field in which you work or the problem you want to solve. Be analytical and rigorous and curious. Struggle.

And then walk away. Take a break. Do something active enough to distract you without generating a competing focus or more stress. Exercise or hang out with friends. Change the scenery.

This blog post is late because I took a weekend off to hang out with family and sip coffee (in the morning ) and wine (after noon) and enjoy food and conversation and games. I took the weekend off for fun but I also took it off because I need to produce material for the new online component of our NLP Master Practitioner programme. Thinking about it relentlessly would not get me there faster. The fastest route to developing better material is to step away and let the intention percolate in the background.

This will be a busy week. And I'll be ready.

No comments: