It was a great article to read on a Monday. "Where do good ideas come from?" a book review posted by The Improvised Life blog. Steven Berlin Johnson's book, "Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation" suggests innovation is not only a collaborative effort it's also sparked by what we do during our down time. And that got me thinking. While I worked on the day's and the week's "to do" list I was also inspired to fit some more play into my days.
Several years ago I read a terrific article about devoting 10% of your life to what you truly love. That has been a great source of inspiration. Think about it. Ten percent of a 16 hour day is about an hour and a half. Ten percent of a year is 36 1/2 days. Most of us don't have an extra month of time off. But look at it this way. If you could spend even an hour a day doing what you loved most how would you use your time? A recent example that I found delightful is the Ohio State fan who devoted 2 years worth of his off hours to build a replica of the school's horseshoe-shaped stadium with Legos. How fun is that?
Johnson also talked about Google employees who are given 20% of each work day to devote to their own creative projects--and that's where half of Google's innovations begin. My favorite "finding your inner artist book," The Artist's Way asks you to go on weekly dates, with yourself. The purpose--to take a break, have some fun and recharge. Think of it as making the opportunity for inspiration.
How to fit it in? I won't say it's easy but I will guarantee it's worth the effort. Like anything new it helps to start small. Getting started is the key. Take 10 or 15 minutes each day to figure out what you love. Then keep that 15 minutes in your day to start on your idea. Or take a short artist date this week just to try it. Remember: twenty one days makes it a habit. My students who may be reading this already have the right idea--recess! For those of us who have only faded memory of the playground, let's make a pact to have more fun.