Friday, January 30, 2009

Secret 4: Surrendering to Creative Cycles

“Burnout is the key enemy of innovation.”

The fourth chapter of Gail McMeekin's The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor made so much sense I could barely contain myself! McMeekin covered a lot of ground in this chapter, but what resonated with me the most was the idea that when we have time off and peace of mind, ideas are often born.

I remember going to school full-time and working full-time. I didn’t have a free minute in the day to even think about being creative. On the weekends I was catching up on sleep and studying. And to top things off, I was also planning a wedding! After the wedding came the new job. Then the twin boys. As things slowed down at home, the pace picked up at work. In the midst of the chaos, I was lucky enough to indulge in professional development…in Miami, Florida! My oh-so-wonderful grandmother offered to take care of my twin boys for a week so that my husband could join me. I worked during the day and we played at night. Miami was just the breath of fresh air that I needed to relax my burnout brain.

McMeekin mentioned Entrepreneur Joline Godfrey and her former partner in this chapter and explained how they had a corporate policy of taking at least one week’s vacation each quarter for peace of mind so that ideas could be birthed. Sweet. I don’t have the luxury of taking a week’s vacation every quarter; however, my husband and I schedule at least one day off from work every month. Every once in awhile, one of us will take the children for a few hours on the weekend for alone time. Both scenarios have been tremendously helpful to our marriage, our children, and has positively contributed to our productivity at work! And for me, the creativity is stimulated when I have a clear head coupled with physical and mental rest. I’ve been able to maintain my prose and poetry blog and even initiate great ideas for projects at work.

As McMeekin stated, “We all need time between cycles to rest and fill ourselves up again with fresh dreams and energy.”