Every year, Bill Gates goes into seclusion for a “Think Week,” or private retreat, from which employees, friends, and even family are strictly banned. Many of Microsoft’s most important innovations grew out of ideas hatched during these carefully scheduled periods of isolation.
Twice a year, I get out of the office, breaking from my normal routine, for much needed “Think Weeks.” By actively disconnecting and looking at everything from 50,000 feet, I am able to effectively reflect, reset, and clearly rethink my goals and aspirations.
If you haven’t taken a week off to reflect on your past and your future, it’s something I highly recommend. If you can’t take a week, I’d encourage you to take a day, or even a few hours. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your own “Think Time”:
Once you generate great ideas, it’s important to follow through and take action. Artist Chuck Close is known for saying, “inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.” I tend to agree.
Here at Skillshare, we’ve developed many different creative routines to ensure that we are always making progress. Here are a few simple tactics we use to keep the ball moving forward:
Use the morning to focus: In an age where we are always connected, we are also constantly being interruptedAt Skillshare, mornings are unofficial “quiet hours.” We don’t schedule meetings and instead use this time to tackle our most challenging projects . This routine helps us move forward every day.
The ability to cultivate and apply creativity is crucial to your work and your team’s mission. Being able to execute on your projects in the most efficient and effective manner gives you more time to find inspiration for the next challenge.
Michael Karnjanaprakorn is the CEO and Co-Founder of Skillshare.