Spontaneity

by sbh on Friday - 11 January 2008

in Uncategorized

As I write this, Natalie and I are driving West on Highway 71 toward Austin. You may have seen my Twitter post about it. Why are we headed to Austin? There’s the beauty: Absolutely no reason!

Our plan for Thursday evening was to do some office work. Acadian Imaging and sbh* headquarters (one and the same) were in need of some serious TLC. But, when 5 ‘o’clock, the appointed and agreed upon time, rolled around, neither of us could really get excited about it. So, we did something a little crazy–we started packing.

Are we running away from our problem? Absolutely.

Are we OK with that? You betcha.

Spontaneity is an important part of the human experience. It serves to remind me that unpredictable is not always synonymous with unwelcome. For that matter, unpredictable and flaky don’t have to be the same thing either.

Sometimes your battery needs a jump start. Natalie and I work out of the same office all day every day. Because we own our business, that work often carries over into the weekend. It becomes really easy to forget that one of the reasons that we started our own business was to create our own schedule–to hold our own destiny in our hands.

No doubt, owning a small business has proved to be a lot more work than “workin’ for the man” (at least in our little world). I’d be willing to bet that if you are just embarking on your own business adventure, you feel the same way. Do yourself a favor. Emerge from that cocoon of an office for the weekend and go out and do something you don’t normally do. It can only have positive side effects.

Examples?

*A Boost in Creativity.* Doing things like this, disrupting my flow, often spurs my creative juices. It puts me outside of my comfort zone in contact with people and places that aren’t part of my every day. Without my traditional office digs, it’s likely that I’ll work from a café or restaurant. Getting out of the office and into the public is important for a writer. How can you write about people unless you see them? You’ve got to have an attentive ear and a willingness to observe their rhythms. Cafes and restaurants are excellent places for this.

*A Boost in Productivity.* So often we can’t wait to punch out. Natalie and I have already placed limits on how much we’ll work in a given day. Sometimes we look at the clock, hoping it will tick tick tick away faster and faster. Getting out of town like this really refreshes our brains and souls. That extra boost or rush that we feel spills over into the following days.

There is no doubt in my mind that our office will still be a mess when we return. But, I think we’ll go at the task with a little more zest than we might have without this little get away.

Finally, if you’re like us, married and working in the same office, sometimes it’s just great to see each other outside of the office, when the pressures of the work day aren’t weighing heavy on both of you. I know there have been many dinners where Nat and I just talked about work, or just thought about work. Much harder to do when you’re out on the road. Always good to feed that marriage, it is, after all, the most important thing.

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