When do you get your best ideas?
What are you doing in the moments when your most profound ideas come to you?
My guess is that it’s not when you’re scrolling on your phone, multitasking, or when you’re stressed out.
This is one of my favorite quotes from David Allen, “Creativity, innovation, strategic thinking, and simply being present don’t require time—they require space.”
It sounds simple enough, create space. And yet many of us, partly out of necessity, are blocking off hours in our calendar for “space.”
This comes in the form of “innovation time” or “creativity hours” set up once a week. A specific time when you’re supposed to come up with genius ideas.
But forcing time for space doesn’t work. We can’t force ideas to emerge.
Here is one definition of space: Space is a continuous area which is free and available.
We need genuine space in our minds and space in our environments. Internal and external space.
But creating space can be challenging for us, because it means giving attention to something that seems less useful, perhaps also less profitable.
We think there are other things that are more important for us to be doing.
Because how many of us have had time scheduled for ourselves and then replaced it the instant someone invites us to a meeting at that same time?
My suggestion is to make regular time for activities that bring you both joy and space. It has to be both.
Because joyous activities are not always spacious.
And spacious activities are hard to sustain if you’re not getting some joy out of them.
This joyous space will give your ideas room to brew.
I find joy and space when I’m in nature. Nature on daily walks in the woods or on holidays.
A couple of years ago I was on a holiday in Greece, slowed down to my slowest, completely relaxed and creating space by being present with the nature surrounding me.
At my feet, I noticed several ants that were carrying small flower blooms that had fallen off the trees.
Amazing, isn’t it? Did you know that ants can carry 10-50 times their own body weight?
That would be the equivalent of a human carrying an elephant.
So there I was being mindful and slowing down. Watching the ants carrying their little blooms. And all I wondered was where they were taking them. That’s all.
Here’s what happened.
The ants were blown away but they didn’t give up. They persisted and kept going.
And because I had slowed down and was present in this external space, I was able to see this happen because I also had internal space, in my mind.
The persistence of these ants reminded me about how important persistence is in business which led me to an idea to write about it.
My challenge to you is to be as persistent as those ants in your pursuit to create more space in your life.
Be persistent about slowing down and making space.
When you focus on creating space, not for any specific purpose, that is when some of the most magical ideas come to you.
Think about the situations that bring both joy as well as space and to them as often as you can.
© Stephanie Ward
Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to create meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ’7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: https://www.fireflycoaching.com.
Where do you find joy and space?
Share your experiences, thoughts, and questions in the comments section below.
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I took some space this morning just before seeing this post (synchronicity) . I looked at some flowers and just let the beauty in. Taking that time really let me see them in a new way. It’s funny how much we get wrapped up in the Daily of doing. This space is so necessary to free our minds of the junk thinking of I need to do this or that. I love the ant video and how it gave the message of resilience and strength. ❤️
Love that, Susan! Thank you for sharing. Indeed, space gives us so many beautiful gifts. Have a fabulous week!