I haven’t written a blog in a long time. A really long time. A wicked long time. In fact, it’s been over a year. And I like writing blogs… so why did I take so much time off? Frankly, I needed a break. A break from throwing myself whole heartedly into everything work related. I put a few things on the back burner for a bit — to ease my mind, to feed my soul — and it worked.
So why is taking a break so important? I remember hearing a story about Bob Dylan, who, after a huge tour in England, was dissatisfied with the way his career was going, and was drained of energy from the life he was living as a musician. So he took a break — and actually considered quitting the business. Soon after, he wrote “Like a Rolling Stone” which some outlets have ranked the greatest song of all time.
I can’t say that I took the whole last year off, but I did work hard at finding more balance (cliche but true). I went to Shanghai (so amazing) I taught a HIIT Tabata class (super challenging) and I spent a lot more time with my family (the best reward by far). When I do hunker down and get designing, my work is better, sharper, and more creative.
This is a theory that more and more current day thinkers are embracing. In his book Imagine, How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer wrote that letting a mind wander is key to having more creative insights. I’d have to agree with him and add that emptying the mind actually does this for me as well. When I’m in my 5th mile of a run and my head is devoid of anything except the finish line, I can get back to my work refreshed both mentally and physically.