Downtime continued -- a source of creativity

In my last post, I wrote about the power of downtime.  A couple of weeks later, I took my own advice and kept smart phone use to a maximum of 15 minutes per day while on a very enjoyable vacation.  I returned energized, focused and ready to tackle the always busy summer filled with new client engagements and their events.

Fast-forward two weeks after vacation and I've clocked about 70 hours in each with some very late nights and early mornings.  The first week, I could blame the early mornings on jet lag; at the end of the second, I am reminded of the constant struggle for balance in our society and among entrepreneurs -- it's especially hard when you truly love what you do.

Last night, while returning from a full day meeting in wine country, I heard a radio talk show host discussing how to enhance creative flow.  (Unsurprisingly, tackling work projects was not listed as a way to enhance creativity and productivity.)  She is indeed correct about time -- one of our most "precious resources", and how down-time allows us to capture a quiet, focused mind for problem solving.

The times when we feel most overloaded and "stuck" are exactly when we need to take a break.  Switching gears with a walk, music, aromatherapy, massage, napping, spending time with a pet, or even day-dreaming all qualify as relaxation activities.  I am personally guilty of hurrying my beloved Newfies on our walk so I rush back into my office.  And I can't remember the last time I actually drifted into a day-dream -- do adults even do that?

Tomorrow is officially a work- and technology-free day for me at Trellis Wine Consulting.  Perhaps I'll re-read one of my favorite books: Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience, which discusses how to improve life quality by ordering the conscious.