Have you ever been asked to generate an innovative idea and/or develop a creative solution in a limited amount of time and your mind keeps drawing a blank? Perhaps, you are feeling so pressured that you are distracted by how little time you have rather than focused on the task at hand. To get your mind to where it needs to be, get “back to basics”. Whether you are working in a home, business or corporate office, stop what you are doing and take a 30-60 minute technology timeout and get “back to basics”.
If you are working in a home office, get “back to basics” means spending the next 30-60 minutes doing a household chore like cooking, cleaning, baking or, depending on the season and weather permitting, pursuing an outdoor activity. Cooking might involve preparation tasks like chopping meat or vegetables, peeling, cutting or squeezing fruit, making a sauce or dressing or researching a recipe, checking for the ingredients that you have on hand and then planning a grocery shopping list. Cleaning activities could include dusting, vacuuming or washing floors. Baking may be mixing up a cookie or quick bread batter, preparing and kneading bread dough or mixing the ingredients for a cake or pie. Outdoor chores could mean weeding the garden, pruning bushes, raking leaves or shovelling snow. You may think that this is a preposterous idea but the focus, skill and discipline as well as the rhythm and repetition required to successfully undertake and complete each of these activities will plant the seed of an idea, nurture it, and finally, generate the idea or solution that you require plus it will allow you to get something done that has probably been on your to-do list for quite a while.
If you work in a corporate or business office, get “back to basics” means spending the next 30-60 minutes doing an office chore like photocopying, cleaning up your desk and/or office or sorting and filing papers. Alternatively, you can go into the kitchen and wash the dishes that have been undoubtedly left in or beside the sink by hand (avoid the temptation of putting them in the dishwasher if one is available) or cleaning out the refrigerator of stale food. While you are busy with one of these chores, you may start talking with someone who either provides you with a great idea or solution or gives you information which you can use to generate your idea or solution.
Whatever you choose to do, these activities will add value not only because you will generate an idea or solution but also because you will feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment which increases your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Sometimes, you need to go “back to basics” and do simple, easy and ordinary tasks before you can move forward and handle complex, difficult and extraordinary challenges and opportunities.