Siobhan Harper-NunesBalance, Development, The Simple Things

Giving our creative mind expression is as important as pounding away at our goals and targets.
Why? Because every human being needs time to think, to reflect, to simply be.

After all, we are HUMAN BEINGS not HUMAN DOINGS and if we let the balance slip, trust me our productivity starts to drop.
BALANCE is often under-rated and yet it is a fundamental key to sustained success.

Question: How many times have you found that amazing idea when swimming or walking in the park or in the shower?

Question: How many times have you found those fantastic solutions when you’re snowed under with paperwork? When your to-do list looks like a shopping list for things to by after the apocalypse?

I rest my point.

So what kinds of things cause us pressure?

• Work overload
• The phone ringing continuously
• The demands of family or friends
• Report deadlines – and this is a daily occurrence in my line of work
• Cash-flow

And that’s just mine – what are yours?

But how can we meet all these demands when our emotional and energy tanks are empty? How do we recharge and reinvigorate? If we spend all this time doing – where do we get time to build and plan our dreams or more importantly simply recharge?

I believe the answer is in designated “DREAM” time. In creating time and space where we simply allow our minds to wander….

Einstein used to build this “time-out” into his daily work schedule – he’d carve aside time where he would go for long walks and daydream – and some of his best ideas appeared during these periods.

Yes, we have a left brain which is logical and ordered but we also have a right brain which is creative and which thrives on colour, dimension and imagination.

I do not believe one is superior to the other. I simply believe – and studies show – that we are our most productive, sane and powerful, where there is balance.

So how do we get a chance to be creative and do our best work?

• We need to believe in the value of creative space
• We need to carve out the time and space to daydream.

Things that work for me include:

• Spending Quality Time with my Granddaughters – the fun stuff where you’re laughing, playing, making bubbles, dancing in the rain, tickling, or blowing raspberries. The times when you’re just watching the awe on their faces when they see a rainbow or a fish in a pond and you’re moved to believe in miracles.
• Gardening – I’m not much or a gardener but I love creating beauty indoors or out.
• Creative Cooking – not the cooking that simply demands feeding a hungry horde, but where I make stuff up and experiment and just have fun with my favourite colours, textures and tastes.
• Cleaning – yes I know you think I’m weird but I love to clean windows or make a room sparkle.
• Washing Up – again not the dirty pots and pans but you know when you’re at the sink and you’re playing with the bubbles and you’re in a glorious daydreaming trance?
• Walking in Nature – not that purposeful walk but the amble where you are able see and connect with the flowers, the brook, the birds, and the sky.
• Pottering – mooching around my house clearing a draw or reorganising a cupboard or simply putting flowers in a vase on the windowsill.
• Bathing – no not the stuff we do everyday but the scrumptious exotic bath with creams and lotions and candles and bubbles and Debussy’s Clair De Lune playing in the background.
• Swimming – especially when I have the pool to myself and it’s cool and blue and delicious!
• Sunbathing – soaking up the lovely sun, with an ice-cool drink, a book or music playing – ahhh heaven.

What are your daydreaming activities and how can you build more of them into your day?

Taking creative “time out” is good for the soul and it’s actually great for productivity. Why else would some of the biggest companies on the planet have play rooms?

So, bosses, next time you’re watching the clock or micro managing your team, remember to build some play-time into their day and to the rest of us…

Go have some fun!