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Sometimes We all Need to Do Absolutely Nothing

Photo from my recent trip to Emmett Lake

When was the last time you took a moment out of your hectic schedule to do absolutely nothing? I wrote a post last week about when life gets too busy. I was beginning to realize that I was losing sight of the inspiration I used to stumble across on a regular basis. And it is because of my full schedule. I rarely take a moment to myself—away from the computer screen (or any technology for that matter) and away from other people. I’ve come to understand that there are too many distractions constantly in my way. And these interruptions are blocking out my creativity. There was simply no more room left to get in.

I recently read an article published in Canadian Business about why slacking off is a good thing. The author wrote that, according to a growing number of business leaders, managers who spend time doing absolutely nothing are often quicker to come up with bold new products, business strategies or even career changes. “It’s only when distractions are minimized that inspiration has a chance to strike.”

Bill Gates used to take “think weeks” twice a year, during which he would separate himself from friends, family and employees. The psychologist interviewed in the story explained that creative thinking is an exploratory process. “Taking a break allows the mind to shift into what is known as associative thinking, in which new connections are forged between old ideas.”

That explains it. The reason I am fighting to rediscover my creative muse is because I am too absorbed by life’s distractions. I need to clear my schedule; to get away from the noise. I need time to let my thoughts breathe freely. Maybe it means going for a drive with the radio turned off. Or even better—riding my bike, alone, along the path by my house. Maybe it means booking a tropical vacation (I wish). It doesn’t really matter what I do to make a change, what’s important is that I do it. And by “it” I mean absolutely nothing.