More space, better thinking

Author: Dan Lewis

Every now and again I like to get away and escape the busy world of business I’m involved in. In 2011 I started my first business, a web development agency, with my old friend Andy. As a fast paced growing company, life was pretty stressful, working long hours and learning hard lessons.

However there were many positives that came from owning my own business, including the traveling I got to do. The development of the business led to visiting many destinations, topping my list were Eastern Europe, North America and Iceland.

Andy and I were lucky enough to win a traveling scholarship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011 and this is where I started to realise the value of having time to think and the benefits of having my own space. As a business we were at a crossroads and needed to make a big decision; did we sacrifice a large contract to progress with our own ideas? The problem had been up in the air for months before our trip, but we were too distracted and occupied with other areas of the company to address it.

It was one day, whilst basking in the sun on the famous steps of MIT Andy and I realised with clear heads and less distractions, the problem wasn’t as big as we thought. Whilst kicking back and enjoying a new environment we made the decision to follow our own path and sacrifice the profit we would lose. In the future this decision would not only expand the business but change our lives.

The point of this experience is that we were able to calmly make a decision in a place that did not have the pressures and distractions that surrounded us back at home. We used to laugh and joke that sometimes we would come up with our best ideas on the toilet, but the same thinking can be applied to this; having the space to think with no disturbances.

Here’s a quote that I think suits this post:

 

“Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest.” ~Author Unknown

 

These days I don’t get my space by sitting on a toilet, but by escaping to different countries free from the pressures of the office to allow myself to think.

From my experience, if you want to encourage your team to make better decisions, give them the time to think and absorb. In a fast paced work environment we often push people for immediate answers and results which can trigger emotions that lead us to react before thinking.

If you want to nurture big ideas and even bigger results, give yourself and your team time to consider and reflect in a different environment and maybe invest in some more toilet time :)

Please share with someone if you feel it could help them.


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