It seems I do some of my best thinking when I am not in my workspace.
In her book Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up Patricia Ryan Madson suggests that we pay attention to our “hot spots.” These places feel right for us and, for whatever reason, we have a clearer view of our world. In these spaces, we have a better than average chance of pushing distractions aside and concentrating on the important stuff in our lives.
As Madson says, we “just show up.” We don’t over prepare. We step into the space and allow our creative juices to flow.
“Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.”
I think of these hot spots as unfocused spaces that allow me to focus. That is, when I am feeling stuck (on a project, for instance) rather than force a narrowly framed decision, I find these focus spaces allow me to see broader and more creative options. I don’t force my thoughts. I allow the options to flow to me and open up a pathway for ideas to take root and begin to bloom.
When I jotted down my creative spaces I had an “aha moment.”
- Doing yard work.
- Drinking a cup of coffee in a cafe.
- Having talk-time with my bride.
- Relaxing in a hotel room.
- Sitting in my seat during a flight.
- Waiting on a flight in the airport.
- Walking, sitting, or biking on the beach
- Walking with my canine companion, Roxie
- Working in my home office
- Working out in the gym.
With the exception of “working in my home office,” the other ten spaces actually remove me from my day-to-day work locations and routine actions. It seems I do some of my best thinking when I am not in my workspaces. I’m not forcing myself. When I don’t force myself to focus, I seem to focus better. This sweet spot helps me stay resilient.
Video recommendation of the week:
So, maybe, if you’re feeling stuck or you’re having difficulties stimulating the creative juices, pay a visit to your non-work focus spot. Make a list of the top places where things seem to happen for you—where ideas appear and conundrums appear to become clearer.
When was the last time you visited your focus space?
Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
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My books Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition) are published by Pearson Education.
(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.