Standing out by standing still

As some of you will know (because you were there virtually or physically) I have just got back from 4 days in Devon at the wonderful #LikeMinds conference run by Scott Gould and Drew Ellis down in Exeter. One of the biggest draws of the event except for the speakers, conversation and wonder that is Exeter is the sheer fact that you get out of, what is for many of us, the London bubble. It was a thoroughly refreshing experience as I find it is every time I get out of this city. Don't get me wrong, I love London, but every once in a while you get a chance, if you are very lucky to stop and stand still. Maybe for the briefest of moments, in a coffee shop, by the river, a park bench. Or maybe for a longer period, a weekend away, holiday, sabbatical or even a conference.

The River Ex

These times can be confronting can't they? Isn't it funny how often in these times of standing still, which are meant to be moments of comfort, release or rest we find ourselves so conflicted or just unable to switch off?

I think it's because in these moments we are presented with what we've been busying ourselves with. When we get a moment out it's often so hard to concentrate on being still because we spend so much time analysing what's just been or planning what's just about to come. If our heads are full of this stuff how on earth are we meant to just be?

I sometimes think we need to learn to be a bit more like a DVR or DVD player. These things are built to play stories from start to finish, they just play out, but if you stop them mid way through, if you hit pause, that's all they do - pause. They don't worry about what you were just watching nor do they care about whether Jim Carey will ever find his way out of Trumanland, they just stop in the moment and do nothing, just leaving us with a still image of the character in screen.

Maybe in our timeshifted, google mapped, live streaming world it's counter cultural to just stop for a minute and pause. So much of our time is spent spinning around trying to stand out, maybe we might just stand out all the more by learning to stand still.

Knowing how to turn things off

SLL - Sunday Latte LamentationsFollowing on the conversation from today's post from my good friend Scott Gould (and his mate Ian) I share with you my 3 productivity tips for today!

1. Reading something inspiring keeps the mind active, it gives you focus and direction.

I am currently working through the wonderful 80's classic book "Money, Sex, Power" by the fantastic pastor Richard Foster (author of Celebration of Discipline) - just picking up a couple of nuggets that get the brain juices flowing on a daily basis is sometimes all it takes to get the creativity and productivity flowing.

2. Think about getting an iPad (or some useful desktop widgets!

Using "Things" on the iPad has completely consolidated my mish-mash approach to task management up until now, and Evernote being always with me makes finding things much easier.

Also check out some of these great little nuggets:

Off Switch

3. Knowing how to turn things off is crucial.

What I mean by this is knowing that things do have a Off button, and you can choose to press it. You change choose to tune out. And you should.

We often forget that the world will not end if we don't check in, tweet, email or text for a couple of hours, or even a couple of weeks.

The more we learn to switch off for appropriate amounts of time, the more productive we are when things are turned on!

Over to you...

What makes you more productive? What tools do you use? Are you more creative when you are being productive or more productive when you are being creative?

Enhanced by Zemanta