Clean Out Your Attic!
It’s that time of year again. Summer’s over and the temperature in my attic has officially dropped below 100 degrees. I went up there last weekend and went at it –tossing away lots of unneeded stuff, ranging from old kid’s clothes to busted stereo gear to a couple of worn out chairs. It felt good to just throw this stuff out and reclaim a formerly cluttered space.
In our jobs and in our lives, our brains can become a lot like that attic. A few months back, wrapped up in the laundry list of challenges associated with owning a small business, I found myself waking up in the night thinking about work. Not good.
After returning (and recovering) from summer vacation, I revved up my workout regimen. I also decided to reinstate a long-lost personal routine. Rising with the sun, I sit down to write what author/creative coach Julia Cameron calls “morning pages.” I basically “clean out the attic,” writing free-form to create some mental space, find some clarity, and quiet the constant chatter going on up there.
Cameron outlines the process in “The Artist’s Way,” her acclaimed guide to unleashing your creativity. Over the first few weeks of this new routine, I cranked out more good work than I had in months, and was busily writing down ideas as they came to me in a flood. And I slept better.
Whether it’s a daily visit to the gym or a quick walk around the block, it’s beneficial to shut off your brain for a while, hopefully on a close-to-daily basis. The most common excuse I hear from people about this kind of routine is that, “It takes too much time, and I’m just too busy to stop and exercise.” I know that one well, because I’ve used the same excuse often. But even a short aerobic routine or a bit of time to be alone with yourself can have a dramatic effect on creativity and productivity.
Happier clients and an increase in your bottom line? That’s something you definitely don’t want to throw away.