Research shows that taking time out leads to greater creativity and innovation.
A great article in Huffington Post states:
“You can’t continually run an engine in the red zone, at max output, or it will burn out. All high-performance machines need a rest cycle. Physical trainers advise us that a recovery cycle is necessary to get maximum efficiency from a muscle.”
Just like a high performance car or an elite athlete, you need to plan specific periods of rest, relaxation and recovery into your life in order to perform at your best.
In this day and age with social media everywhere and smart phones at our fingertips it is even harder to disconnect. To put the phone down. Take some real time out to switch off from it all and instead reconnect with what is really important.
Hands up who looks their phone, not just for the time, but for a message or social media alert as soon as they wake up? Me! Although I’m consciously trying not to these days.
James Clear wrote a great post about how he never checks his email before noon and leaves his phone in another room when he is working on creative tasks like his writing or business planning. Which by the way he purposefully schedules time for every morning because he knows that is when his creative energy is highest.
Take time out to nourish mind, body and spirit
Twelve incredible individuals came together at the beautifully serene Point Samson for the first ‘Mainfesting Wellness & Direction’ retreat co-hosted by Amanda Ewin from The Lilac Lounge and myself earlier this year.
Some attendees were business owners, some were keen to manifest a more satisfying and fulfilling job, and some keen to manifest wellness and direction in their personal lives.
The intent for the day was simple – to nourish participants’ minds, bodies and spirits by tantalising all the senses. And that we did!
The feedback speaks for itself:
- “Totally awesome! There was a wide range of topics [that] complemented each other and flowed. The day went so quickly. It was interesting, fun and you didn’t have time to get bored on any one thing. We were nourished and cared for, both physically and emotionally. Loved every minute of it!”
- “I loved the interactive format that allowed time to listen, but also time to share and collaborate”
- “Absolutely FABULOUS!! It was extremely nourishing to spend a day with like-minded people, exploring practical and tangible ways in which I could improve my state of mind and manifest a successful year ahead… and life beyond!”
- “[I learned] that it is important to nourish yourself not only with food, but with love and kindness.”
- “The effectiveness of meditation in soothing my soul and refocusing my energy.”
What is mindfulness?
Amanda nailed the nourishing our bodies component with divine savoury and sweet treats all prepared in a healthy whole food way.
She also nourished our minds and spirits with some relaxing meditations and practical tips on how to integrate mindfulness into our daily lives.
But what is mindfulness? Well, let our amazing attendees share what they learned as a result of joining us on the retreat:
- “[Mindfulness is] being in the moment and paying attention to what I’m feeling, hearing and seeing.”
- “For me even though I espouse being in the moment my head is generally thinking of many things at once. I am [now] taking 5 min before I get up to sit on the side of the bed and breathe, trying to focus on my shower when in it and not all the stuff I usually do. [I’m] feeling a bit more peace inside even when so much is going on around me.”
- “[I now] make time to meditate for at least 5 mins a day; Allow myself to say no sometimes; Set clear intentions and complete one task before moving on to the next.”
- “I am more conscious of focusing when I eat and it really hit home re: many ingredients don’t make it good. I am so much more aware of focused breathing”
Play leads to increased creativity and productivity
Kylah nourished the mind and spirit by working with participants to reconnect with their core values and refine their vision for the future.
To mix things up, ripping magazines for their vision boards and finger painting reacquainted participants with a child-like play and engagement that so often gets pushed aside as we all act like ‘responsible adults’.
Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, has found that play is not just joyful and energising — it’s deeply involved with human development and intelligence.
And what did our wonderful participants have to say?
- “Taking time out for me is rare, play is rare.”
- “Loved the ripping up and pasting on … follow your heart and don’t be hemmed in with a rectangle.”
- “Lifestyle… what the hell… just go with the flow. Don’t resist. Everything is perfect.”
- “Firstly I have taken the [recommended] strengths test to enable me to assess what work I would be best suited to. Secondly I can visualise and manifest/be grateful for a job that is fulfilling. Thirdly, to motivate me to achieve my goal of finding a fulfilling job I have an action pyramid and as each action is completed I reward myself.”
Take time out today
Do you feel like you are always on the run? No time for fun? Not achieving what you’d like to? Lacking balance?
Schedule 5mins into your day just to walk, ponder, sing, meditate or relax away from your computer screen, and any mobile devices.
You might be pleasantly surprised what brainwave you have, or simply how refreshed you feel.
And if you do have a spark of innovation, check out the great tools mentioned in this blog post to capture random insights or bursts of creativity as they often happen when you least expect it.