Oct 20

Small Business Unplugged: how to get offline to boost your creativity!

Want to bring creativity, fun and adventure into your business?

Today's simple tip is to get off the computer!

There are so many benefits to working on the computer that I don't need to list them.

However there are also many downsides to being plugged in, in terms of our health, eyes, body and mindset….. and I also believe that time spent on the computer and connected to the web is highly likely to detract from your ability to be creative, adventurous, and have fun.

I write this from experience – the past 12 months have been a lot more computer based then either of us had anticipated and we can both see a correlation between our energy levels, ability to be creative and have fun with number of computer-bound hours.

Because we want to keep on top of this, we have kept a constant focus on managing computer time and take as many opportunities as possible to get off our computers and work in other ways instead.

So – for today, inject creativity, fun and adventure into your work by getting un-plugged!

The benefits of non-computer time

There are many benefits to working off your computer from time to time, and there will be loads I haven't listed here, but in case you need convincing here are a few:

  • getting off the computer will spark your creative juices and allow you to engage with your brain in a way that you won't when you are computer-bound – and this will have all kinds of positive spin offs in terms of problem solving, generating ideas, creativity and growing your business.
  • stress management – it can only be good for stress levels to get off your computer into another zone
  • get your body moving: I know that I can spend hours at my computer and hardly move at all… getting off your computer will naturally mean you move about more – even if it's just your arms to pick up the phone, or shuffle some papers.. and hopefully it's even more than that
  • good for your eyes: again we all know the damage that staring at a computer screen can do for your eyes, so it must be a positive to look at something else and give your eyes a break

Small Business Unplugged: how to get offline to boost your creativity!

Now that you're convinced on the benefits, here are some ideas to get you going.

  • When starting computer-based work, do your initial brainstorms on paper away from your computer and then transfer them to digital format once you are ready to start fine tuning (you could even do this outside, at a cafe, in nature, with coloured pens, with a friend to super charge your creativity!) . And give this one a try before you assume that this will be more time consuming than just doing it straight onto your computer. I fell into that trap but realised I can be more efficient with my time and my brain when I start these processes offline.

  • Network face-to-face in your community rather than doing all your networking online (shock-horror!)…. the internet means that almost all our networking now can happen online.. but don't underestimate the potential of face-to-face networking not only for your business but for your mind.

  • Keep some of your core documents offline as well as online e.g. your business plan. Create a one-page hand-written version of your business plan, make it colourful and bold and inspiring and put it somewhere you can see it.

  • When Janine and I have our virtual meetings, we try to have some of them on the phone rather than skype. Yes it costs a tiny bit more, but also means we can be off our computer screens, fully present in our conversation, and can sit outside on a sunny day and have a change of head-space. This isn't always appropriate as sometimes we need to see our computers, be makes a big difference when we can.

Hope you find these useful, and as always please add your thoughts and suggestions so we can learn from you!

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  • I love this post! Just took a blog-off day yesterday (wish I could take a computer-off 😉 and it was great! Returned to blogging today much happier and inspired!

    • Delia isn’t it amazing how much fresh perspective you can gain from taking time out! Good on you – when can you schedule in the next break? Jo

  • Thanks for reminding me how important it is to take breaks from my computer. It really does get the creative juices flowing and also gives the mind and body a needed rest.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Martha…. when are you going to take a computer-break? And while you are on your break, what will you be doing?

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