Earlier today I was propped up against the dining room wall (why don’t Apple make their charging cables longer? #firstworldproblems) trying to finish the last minute Tesco order on the iPad via our dodgy internet connection when I noticed an orchid that I had neglected and presumed dead (it kind of gets forgotten about in the window that it sits in) had actually flowered beautifully without any intervention from me at all! It looks fab.
This got me thinking about the times when I’ve dashed off to the downstairs office (My husbands name for the downstairs toilet) and left my son on his play mat. Of course, he kicks off as soon as I leave the room however sometimes you just have to sit in that downstairs office a little longer than maybe you would like to ladies! And do you know what? Quite often it’s in those moments, when I have given up shouting down the corridor ‘Mummy won’t be long darling, mummy is just having a (you know what) darling, I’ll be back in a minute darling,’ and my son realises I am not coming straight back that he miraculously manages to find a toy (amongst the gazillion of toys on his playmat) to entertain himself with, all by himself, and goes quiet.
So from a business point of view, I would like you to think about leaving it alone! Giving it a rest! And what I actually mean is giving yourself a rest. Walk away from the problem solving, stop racking your brains over an issue and go get your nails done. If that’s your thing. Personally, I never put anything on my finger nails as they go all brittle if I do, but that’s not the point. Go shopping; go see a friend/relative for the day. Go to the local pool for an hour, visit your local gallery. Just get out of your workspace (note, I didn’t call it an office) Sometimes we really do need some distance between ourselves and our work to get the next flash of inspiration. And if you employ anyone sometimes you need to give them some space to be able to truly shine and show initiative. It’s all too easy to micro manage and suffocate folks, why did you hire them again..?
I’m not saying run for the hills and pretend an issue doesn’t exist, and of course if you are a service provider then you can’t just leave a customer stranded however there is a balance that needs to be struck where you allow yourself the time to rest your brain so it can start to work properly again. Plus being out and about will prompt ideas that you may not have had if you were stuck in your ‘office’ (chortle, chortle.) Wasn’t it Gandhi who said that if you have a busy day you need to meditate for twice as long? Only I could quote Gandhi after a toilet joke. Anyway, you get my gist.
I’d love to hear about any ideas you have had recently when you were slacking off. Maybe all of a sudden that day out at the Polo became profitable because you met your next big client there…?