In the last week or so I have been writing about how you can get back in touch with your real feelings so that your creativity flows for starting your own business. I find that it is hard to get in touch with my creative self when I am doing the same old thing in the same old environment. What is the solution?
Call in well to work.
That’s right, take a day off for no other reason than to go dip your toes in a pond, make a snow angel or sit for hours in front of a painting at your local museum. Getting outside of your regular groove will do wonders for the soul. But there are a couple of boundaries I would put around this time:
- Don’t do any work. Period. No blackberry, cell phone, voicemail checking or web surfing allowed. As soon as you tune back into the work frequency, your creative vibe gets shut off.
- Go alone. I love to spend time with family and friends. But this day is for you to connect with you, so if you have anyone along, you won’t be able to hear what you have to say.
- Take the back roads. Even if you are going to a familiar place, go a different route than you normally would. Pay attention to what you see along the way, as if you were a tourist in a new place.
- Don’t make any plans. If you say to yourself "during this long walk I am going to refine my elevator pitch, set my goals for the next 6 months and define my target market," forget it. It ain’t about accomplishing anything, it is about enjoying doing nothing productive.
- Make it a full sensory experience. Listen to your favorite CD in the car on the way there. Stop and get a foamy, steamy cup of coffee and a delicious pastry, or whatever else delights your taste buds. Enjoy the colors, shapes and sounds of what you experience.
One last thing … if you are feeling slightly fraudulent about calling in work, you could say this: "I can’t come in today. I am really not feeling like myself." This is a true statement! You are not feeling your normal bored, stressed, droned-out self. You are feeling adventurous, creative and exuberant.
I would love it if you would take this day off then write to tell me about it.
P.S. I took this picture at Phoenix Lake in my hometown of San Anselmo, California. It is the place where I would always go when I needed to connect with nature and free my stale mind. Even here in the warm desert climate of Arizona, when I look at this picture, I immediately relax. Such is the lasting power of a walk in a beautiful place.