16 Dec Leave your desk and do something productive: The rise of passion projects, creativity and increased work output.
For years words such as ‘desk’ and ‘office’ have conjured up ideas of work and productivity. In such a setting we relentlessly try to tell ourselves that each sentence typed or memo taken is making us a more accomplished person. Given all this, it’s easy to see how this setting easily becomes mundane.
The solution? Leave it.
We’re not saying you should storm out of the building, waving your fists in the air. No, instead we’re suggesting you should just work breaks into your daily routine, as studies have suggested the creativity and enthusiasm gained from periods of not working will have a positive effect on your work life. It’s not just flashy lab scientists recognising this either – Patagonia, a surf-wear company, orders staff to leave the office and go surfing whenever the surfs up. They do this because they realise the best ideas don’t happen when you’re sitting at your desk – They happen when you’re experiencing something new or out in nature.
Across all industries we are beginning to see more and more of this behaviour: Jeff Goodby of Goodby Silverstein and Partners paints rocks to look like fruit, whilst brand director James Townsend produces classical music in his spare time. Why? Because the idea that furthering your ambitions comes from pursuing the same repetitive tasks day after day is simply not relevant to modern society. In fact some of the greatest technologies and cultural staples were side projects – social media giant ‘Twitter’ started as just a quirky idea. The power of time out, coupled with the genius of a side project may produce work that inspires and moves yourself and others.
So think about how you could use this Christmas break wisely. Take an idea that’s been in your head and get it down on paper. Start a side project or get out into nature and experience new things – then use that inspiration to generate fresh ideas to kick start 2014 when you return to the office in January.