The Life-Changing Magic of Taking a Break

When you're in the middle of a creative project, and the ideas stop flowing, I often find it helps to take your mind off the project by doing something completely different.

When I'm working on a creative project, like an article or translation, I find that getting away from my work environment and doing something completely different can have the reverse effect of helping form my ideas, or in the case of translation, it helps me find the right words.

My process for making coffee is a case in point. From the measuring and grinding of the beans, to the initial 'wetting' of the beans, to the pouring, my mind is completely focused on getting the most out of the beans I buy. Not to mention the added benefit of a delicious, cafe-quality beverage for a much cheaper price.

Normally by the time this process is finished, and I've had my drink, I'm ready and energised to get back to work. If I'm struggling with a particular problem the time away from the office and time spent concentrating on something completely different normally gives me at least something to work on.

The key, I guess, is to make sure you start the thought process early enough. Spend even 5 minutes making up a very rough draft, or set out your ideas, so that you can have ample time to really think over the problem at hand. Just make sure the break doesn't take up too much of your time, and make sure to get started!

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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