Why You Really Need To Step Away From Work

Step Away From Work

When do you get your best ideas?

No, not in the shower.

You get them when you’re not at your computer

Sit back and think about all the ideas that changed the direction of your life. And think of where you were at the time. Nope, still not in the shower. You were somewhere on the road, somewhere deep in conversation with someone or lost in a book.

So why don’t computers work like they should?

That’s because computers tend to be output machines. When we deal with computers we’re rarely getting input. Think of all the things you do at the computer: You write articles (output), you answer email (output),  you respond to Facebook/respond to blog posts (output), do illustrations (output)—and that list goes on and on. Yes, sometimes you may watch a video or listen to something that’s input based, but for the most part, your computer is in input mode, and you in output.

When you leave you computer, you move into input mode

I do my best to sneak away from the computer and get into input mode. Like right today, right this moment, I need to plan the sequence of what needs to be done for one of my books. I need to think the sequence through and it’s not like I can just output what’s on my mind.

So I take a trip to the cafe. I sit down and then I let two hours pass while I doodle my way through my plan. It’s not like I have a plan, but the plan unfolds. As I sit, the plan takes on a different dimension.

More often than not, my wife, Renuka is with me. And we discuss issues. Now we have the input of two brains, not one. All the great ideas, the ones that have given us the greatest peace of mind, the ones that have earned us the most money, the ones that make our lives wonderful—not once was I sitting at the computer when it happened.

But what if you’re busy?

Well, today is crazier than most. I have a dental appointment, two articles to write, a book to complete, audio to be recorded, my niece needs to be mentored all afternoon (and evening).

Well, let’s just say it’s a busy day. And yet, I will force myself to find two hours to sit at the cafe. The trip to the cafe clears my mind, and then I’m in input mode. I think, I write, I doodle. Gosh I love my computers to bits, but it’s amazing what a piece of paper and some free brain time will do for you.

Getting away from the computer gives us input time—time to get our own thoughts together.

Then it’s Mac time smiley


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Comments

  1. says

    Wow — this was great and came “just in time” to give me insight into a problem I’m experiencing right now. I’ve hit a snag moment in my creative process on a novel I’m writing — and yes, “going to the cafe” and doodling and talking with my SO is Exactly what I need to do next. Thanks!!!!

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