The importance of musing – why sending money down the toilet could be the best move for your business…
After struggling to start this blog for a while, I suddenly came up with its strap-line whilst staring blankly into space, impatiently waiting for a cheese toastie to arrive. As it turns out, the toastie was undercooked, as this blog may yet prove to be, but that doesn’t matter now (it did at the time). What does matter is that it was those 5 minutes, away from my desk and all its associated distractions, which provided me with the respite and clarity that allowed everything else to follow. This, is what I would call ‘musement time.’
The idea that taking a break is good for you is nothing new. Scientists recommend employees take their lunch break away from their desks for increased workplace productivity and school students have been proven more effective at retaining information when working in 45 minute blasts. However, I would argue that musement time is more than this – and that in many ways it is the most important part of the creative process.
If you look at the processes behind some of the greatest works of literature, what stands out about them is how many of these authors had their lightbulb moments away from the page. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude was imaged whilst the author was driving away from New York, Around the World in 80 Days was conceived from a travel advert spotted over a morning coffee, and J.R Tolkein was supposedly marking papers when the seedlings of The Hobbit came to him. None of these moments were official ‘writing time,’ but all of them resulted in longevity both of the final product and the reputation of the author.
Personally, my favourite kind of musement time is a wee break, hence the title. On locking the door, I know no one is going to bother me; it’s a little bit of focus time in the middle of a busy office. As I write this the phone keeps ringing, so I’ll probably wee twice more before this blog is completed. For you, it doesn’t have to be a toilet of, course – it could be whilst doing the washing up or painting a room or driving to your next appointment. Luke, our photographer, hoovers the office when he needs a moment, whilst Sam, a filmmaker, takes Buster for a stroll.
So next time you are struggling for inspiration, I recommend taking a couple of minutes out of your working day to step away from your computer, lock your smartphone in your drawer, and just think, about nothing in particular.