Give Yourself some Head Space
How does a man who spends most of his time asleep in his office keep his job?
Me and my team-mates used to ask one another this when we worked on a large project for a regional utility organisation, alongside an employee who we ended up nicknaming ‘The Sleepy Vagabond’.
Finally we got our answer.
The Sleepy Vagabond was employed for his creative ideas, which he came up with when taking his dog for a walk in the early hours. This meant he had catch up on his sleep later in the day!
We may not get away with this approach today, but we can take a leaf out of the Sleepy Vagabond’s book by finding the head space to be creative.
Without this essential thinking time, we end up rushing into projects so we can feel we’re delivering – only to find ourselves furiously back pedalling and unpicking work we have done soon afterwards. This is the story of many of our client projects. Other times, we just never seem to get on with the projects because we do not have the time or space to get our heads round how to get going – these are usually our ownbusiness development projects.
You can’t underestimate the value of time away from the front line. If you need a truly innovative way forward, or even just an appropriate and efficient approach, stepping back and really thinking it through is essential – but hard to quantify, which is why we struggle to do it.
Unfortunately we seem to live in a world where only the tangible is given any value, so time spent thinking or planning is considered a waste. This is often the personal view, not just of our boss! It seems to have become hardwired into our brains.
Whenever I run my action planning sessions for small businesses in Yorkshire the delegates always comment on how fabulous it is to get a chance to explore a problem properly and put plans in place to move it forward smoothly and efficiently.
Marcus, from Wright Angle Marketing, said of a recent session: “The session with Sarah was amazing. Not only does she give you great insight and tools that you can use but her session also gives you the needed time and head space to start to project manage effectively. Since the session I know have a clear plan of where I am going and the ability to meet the deadlines that are set for the project. Thank you Sarah!”
The groups are always made up of sole traders or employees of small companies who want to grow and develop new ideas but are finding themselves trapped working in the business rather than on it. They usually bring an idea which has been on their task list for months or even years, passed over time and again in favour of chargeable client work.
Organisations often do value development work but are just unable to create time and space to either sit quietly to think and plan or gather the team together to throw ideas around. But believe me – and my clients – it is worthwhile.
So why not give yourself a break to play Sleepy Vagabond and find your creative space – it might be in a local pub, on the sofa or even in the garden shed. Grab a pad and pencil, a pile of post-its, a flipchart or your favourite mind mapping app, and start getting creative.
Call Sarah on 07976 395754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how she can help you to clear your head & plan your projects