Why Down Time Matters

Why Down Time Matters Everyone is busy. Our inbox, calendars, to-do lists and screens run our lives.  Everyone is working a second shift and we don’t take vacations. Life moves fast.

But there’s a real danger in allowing yourself to be entirely consumed by the next “urgent” task. If we never hit pause, we lose something important: time think creatively, learn, consider problems from a different perspective and perhaps even experiment a little bit. That requires space.

Everyone talks about innovation. It’s what every company wants. Breakthrough thinking and big ideas typically don’t happen without taking the time to time to think and devote our full attention to our most important work, free of distraction and interruption.

I haven’t always understood how important it is to schedule time for creativity. Now, I build it into my calendar. For anyone struggling to find the right balance of managing tasks and thinking creatively I highly recommend this article by Paul Graham: Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule

The need for slower, more creative thinking time was a big reason that I experimented with a four-day work week this summer, and I’m seeing the benefits of that shift.

I’ve been able to step back, think more clearly and make some very specific decisions about how we are going to evolve our business in 2015 and beyond. A month off the road and four-day work weeks provided the space to think more strategically, consider challenges from a new perspective and just enjoy some down time.

In the video below, I explore the idea of giving yourself, and your team, a critical resource that everyone need to do their very best work: time and space.

VIDEO: Why It’s Important to Make Time to Be Creative – YouTube

Ryan Estis helps progressive companies embrace change, attack opportunity and achieve breakthrough performance. Delivering more than 75 live events annually, Ryan provides high-impact keynote presentations and professional development in partnership with the world’s best brands. Learn more about Ryan.


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