Being new to blogging I assumed I would have one blog idea after another and the words would eagerly stream out of me. However, I kept finding I had writer's block! What am I doing wrong I thought? I kept getting flashes of inspiration and energy, but it would somehow disappear as soon as I sat down at my computer. Sounds familiar?
While on holiday recently I was sat by the pool just watching the world go by and I was suddenly thinking of loads of ideas again. I started writing them down, and brainstorming them into fleshed out articles. I was suddenly on a roll! The ideas and words were indeed streaming out of me!
So what was I doing right all of a sudden? Should I take it as a sign to go on holiday more often?!
Well, yes and no! Basically I was not sat at my desk. I was somewhere, anywhere, else. I was assaulted by inspiration from my external surroundings - people, sights, books, sounds ... they gave me a different perspective on the world and subsequently different ideas came to mind.
I learned that I need to step away from the confines of my "business world" and open myself up to new surroundings to get the best out of myself. Its so obvious now but I felt I needed to concentrate on my business and that meant being in my "office" (even if that is just a desk in our living room). Sitting in a coffee shop or going for a walk seemed like little luxuries. In all honesty, I still think they are - but they are very necessary luxuries!
Being able to choose my own hours and focus when and where I need to is one of the more rewarding sides of entrepreneurship; I've been able to get so much more out of myself than ever before. I am free to try out different environments to get different results from myself. Indoors or outdoors, with or without people surrounding me, quiet or noisy atmospheres, being active or passive - all inspire different qualities; creativity, contemplation, concentration, etc.
One aspect of working for yourself that can often be lacking however is the Social Factor, as I like to call it.
You lose interaction with other people you see regularly which can lift spirits, inspire and motivate. For an introvert this proved a small stumbling block at times, but I fully understand and appreciate the value of immersing myself with other people. As a result I've joined network support groups, regularly attend network events, work from coffee shops, and organise meetings and catchups with fellow business owners. I'm also now contemplating renting a shared office space.
Research supports my theory:
"according to proponents of environmental psychology, spending time in nature rather than human-made environments has three positive effects: Reduced stress, Improved mood, and Improved cognitive performance" (Positive Psychology Resource).
"our physiological, psychological, and emotional states change as our surroundings change. Natural places relax us. We're able to focus better and we feel more emotionally engaged."Psychology Today.
"research has shown that ‘therapeutic’ properties of places include high levels of community cohesion, availability and accessibility of high quality green spaces, and investment in infrastructure to support physical activity" (CRESH).
So if you are struggling to think of new ideas, make a business decision, or simply concentrate, get yourself out of your office and into a new surrounding, and let the answers present themselves to you!
> Have you had similar experiences? What do you find works best for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts!