This year, my winter break is going to be a little different. I will be missing out on the freezing weather in Chicago and instead be “roughing it” in the 80 degree weather of Kahana Mauii.
I usually try to visit my family this time of year, and this year there were in Hawaii and offered to buy me a ticket to visit them. So here I am, sitting on a beach in Mauii, taking one for the team. Wish I could be with you all in the bitter cold, but sacrifices must be made.
Seriously though, I’m really excited about this time to relax, recuperate, and refocus after a long and busy semester. I’m looking forward to creating some space of solitude so I can get some creative work done.
I recently read a great little article by Leo Babauta, the author of Focus: a Simplicity Manifesto in an Age of Distraction. In the article, Leo gives five suggestions for how to create solitary space for heightened productivity. Below is a summary of his five suggestions.
1. Schedule It. Solitude will probably not happen by accident. Figure out what time you are most productive and set aside some time for focusing on accomplishing your creative tasks.
2. Clear the Desk. Clutter can be distracting, so create an environment with limited distractions. That might mean clearing your desk, taking down papers posted on the walls, and closing all programs on your computer except for the one you need.
3. Disconnect. Turn off the Internet. Turn off your mobile devices. If you need to research something, do it before you sit down to work on your creative project.
4. Pick One Task. Pick an amazing project that excites you and that’s worth your time and energy. Don’t multi-task, moving back and forth from one project to another.
5. Simple Tools. The important thing is not how amazing your tool is but that you’re actually doing the thing.
I think this is going to be a great trip, and I’m excited to see the creative outcomes of these times of solitude. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you next year!