We often read about routine and habits, about workflow and rituals and how to best optimise our days so to maximise the output. The better our day and our to-do list is scheduled the more we will get done. While this might be true for some cases, you might as well risk to get stuck in your routine.
In order to think creatively and to innovate you need to take a step back, try to see things from a different angle and eventually take a break. Many creative thinkers know the power of taking a break and how to disrupt the work routine. When was the last time you consciously took some time off?
Stefan Sagmeister, a New York-based graphic designer and typographer, takes a full year off every 7 years of work.
What he and his team will create the following 7 years, will be the results of this one single year (off). You can watch the video where he talks about this here “Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off”.
Maira Kalman, an american illustrator, writer, artist, and designer, goes for long walks during her working hours. She says that “Wonderful things happen if your brain is empty.” and that “Walking clears your brain and fills your soul and makes you quite happy actually.”
Watch her video “Maira Kalman: Thinking and Feeling” or read the full story here “Maira Kalman on Walking as a Creative Device and the Difference Between Thinking and Feeling”.
Pico Iyer, a british-born essayist and novelist, says “It’s precisely those who are busiest, who most need to give themselves a break.”
Watch him talk about “The art of stillness”, read his book ““The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere” or you can read an excerpt about his book here “Why we need to slow down our lives”.
To do your best work it’s important to also take the time to think. Take your time to ask yourself “What am I doing? Why am I doing this? Why am I not doing that?”. If you’re too busy you might be running, but you’re running blindfolded and going nowhere. If you’re stuck, you have to stand up and start moving.
When in doubt, take some time off and go for a walk.