RETHINKING DOWNTIME

     

    Boredom, downtime, thinking time… Sounds like a luxury, doesn’t it? With a plethora of smart phones, laptops and other technology gadgets, there really is never a moment when you aren’t doing something. Whether on the subway, on a plane or waiting for a doctor appointment, there’s no reason to be bored – unless you really want to be successful, that is.

    Interestingly, new research shows all this “lack of boredom” is resulting in less creativity. A lack of thinking time results in a lack of new ideas. Actually, when you think about it (hey, that was funny), it really is quite logical. If our brains are constantly stimulated and entertained, when exactly are our brains actually doing what they are meant to do? When are we figuring things out?

    So, let’s bring back the thinking in the shower. Schedule that downtime. Create time to be at your desk and ponder. Turn off the phone. Shut down the computer. Reintroduce yourself to your brain. You will be amazed at what it can do!

    Consider many of the big challenges in your organization today – whether strategic planning, fund development plans, future capital plans, endowment initiatives or staffing issues. These are not best handled quickly in a brainstorming session. They are strategic questions that need your undivided attention and focused thinking time. That’s when the creativity will kick in.

    Incidentally, I’m not talking about a vacation. You earned that time off. That’s your time to recharge your batteries. I’m talking about scheduling at least one hour a week to simply sit (or walk) and think.

    What am I doing? I just bought a brand new hammock. Unfortunately, it’s 28°F (that’s -2°C), so I think I need a plan B…

    How about you? Where and when do you get your best thinking done?

    Posted by Danny Maier
    Danny Maier

    Written by Danny Maier

    Dan Maier offers fundraising counsel and strategic management for local and national nonprofits, YMCAs, camps, medical and social service organizations. He offers invaluable support to clients and their volunteer leadership as they look to enhance their development campaigns, prepare for crisis communications, strengthen their boards and more.

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