random thoughts: on solo brainstorming

I'm back from Miami and the Mom 2.0 Summit, and this was one of the most productive and restful work trips I've had in a while -- and trust me, no one is more surprised that I typed that last statement than I.  Normally, with these trips, I try to make them as short as possible:  figure out what days I'm actually speaking and book my travel immediately before and immediately after.  (Despite appearances I am, it turns out, a homebody.)  This minimizes the amount of time away from my family, but usually has the result of my moving at breakneck speed for the duration of my trips.  But on this trip, for some reason (probably due to poor and neglectful planning on my part), after speaking on Friday I found myself with an entire day to myself on Saturday, with nothing on my schedule.

I can't tell you how excited this made me.

So Saturday I woke up without an alarm (awesome), showered, got dressed, ordered room service breakfast, and settled in for an entire day working in my hotel room.  But instead of doing the usual -- returning emails, prepping for upcoming talks, or drafting blog posts (or my long-overdue newsletter -- sorry about that), I decided to do a bit of strategic brainstorming for my business.  I journaled.  I made graphs.  I did tons of online research and took notes.  I came up with new ideas, and discarded old ones.

I was creative.  And honey, it was bliss.

It was also a great lesson for me:  sometimes -- especially because I work for myself, and have no one to answer to but me -- it makes sense to take a day from my usual routine, fly up to 30,000 feet, check out the view of what I'm doing with my life and my work from up there, and make adjustments accordingly.  

And it occurs to me that this would be a good practice, even if I didn't work for myself.  Perhaps, once every  -- year?  quarter?  18 months? -- it makes sense to sit down and do some strategic brainstorming around both personal and professional life paths.

It does help, admittedly, when you're in a location that truly feels like you're getting away to do it.  I mean seriously, in Miami, even the driftwood looked like it was trying to be creative.

(I'm curious:  do you ever take a day to just brainstorm what you'd like to do, either personally or professionally?  I'd love to know.)

Song:  Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder