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Animals and other shapes in the sky

I was thinking about an organization that schedules a monthly day of reflection for members of its leadership team. Each member gets one day a month – when they do not show up at the office, but take time for themselves. Through personal relationship, I’ve learned that all kinds of things happen on those days, from a long motorcycle ride through the Flint Hills to a morning spent reading at a coffee shop to an afternoon spent drinking iced tea and listening to music on the back porch.

The value to the organization? Incalculable. When these leaders come back refreshed, they can bring a better perspective on themselves and their role as well as on the organization. I’ve seen creative and inspiring ideas come from their time away.

In that spirit of reflection, today’s New York Times has an article about wandering minds. I was in interested to learn that our minds wander about 30% of the time. Here’s the summary quote:

“For creativity you need your mind to wander,” Dr. Schooler says, “but you also need to be able to notice that you’re mind wandering and catch the idea when you have it. If Archimedes had come up with a solution in the bathtub but didn’t notice he’d had the idea, what good would it have done him?”

I’m asking myself if I am being intentional about creating space for my mind to wander – time to wander when I’m observing it and discovering new ideas. Or am I scheduling my life full from morning-to-night with meetings and more hours that I care to admit writing and working at the computer? My guess is that I need to build in some intentional procrastination in order to achieve better incubation.

What animals or shapes have you seen in the sky today?

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