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Take time to think

 23 August 2018     Donald Cooper 

To thrive, our business constantly needs new ideas and perspectives. How much time do you set aside for thinking on a regular basis? Just quietly thinking? By doing so, we create a ‘space’ for ideas and insights to be born and to grow. Sadly, our society doesn’t honour and encourage quiet thinking. We value being busy…frantically busy.

Studies show our ability to think creatively is affected by where we are and what we’re doing. This is important to know because if you can figure out where you’re most creative, you can spend more time there – and you’ll become a more creative person.

According to some surveys, the number one most creative location for many people is sitting on the toilet (and you thought that was number two).

Number two, in fact, is in the shower or bath. Does that work for you? It works for me. It’s relaxing, warm, safe and comfortable…and the world seems full of possibilities. A friend of mine who is most creative in the shower bought a waterproof slate and pen from a SCUBA shop and hung it in the shower to capture his ideas.

The next most creative location for many folks is while driving.

Just before falling asleep.

During a boring meeting.

While reading.

During exercise.

Waking up at night is number eight.

While listening to someone speak at a meeting or conference.

Number ten is while working manually. For many of us, manual work is relaxing and that frees up our minds to be creative. That’s also one of the beauties of hobbies and travel.

So, where are you most creative? Whatever special place you go to or thing you do, whatever music you listen to, or special friends you hang out with; whatever it is that fills your mind with possibilities, do that more often. Don’t let management and life always be “one damned thing after another” – slow down! Allow yourself time to be curious and creative and you’ll be amazed at what you come up with.

Then, when you come up with great ideas, document them and create a space, a file, for those ideas to live and develop…and to be retrieved. It’s amazing how, when we create a space for ideas to reside and percolate, we become so much more aware and our brain generates so many more ideas to fill that space.


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This HGO article was written by:
Donald Cooper
Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.


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