Have you ever dedicated a time to explore your mind? Allow that freedom to day dream? I know I don’t do this enough, but I really should. I’m constantly feeling burnt out and always feeling “the pressure”. I’m not quite sure what that pressure is, but I just feel it and then I get flustered and then I can’t think clearly. Since ‘Relax More’ is part of my new year intentions, I want to dedicate time to allow myself for mental creativity. That mental freedom is so important to your overall health. It improves your mental health which leads to improved self-esteem, encourages healthy eating, and assists in your life and career progression.
It has been proven that more creativity leads to a happier life. There’s reduction of stress, anxiety, depression, and potentially dementia. There’s an increase in intelligence and a boost of your immune system.
Bill Gates Think Week
Lately, I’ve been really into the podcast Group Chat. This podcast has three guys discussing current events, economics, and politics. They’re constantly talking about successful people and one of them is Bill Gates. And it has led me to become more interested in these successful people and that’s when I came across Bill Gates Think Week. If he’s successful (super successful), it probably had something to do with his lifestyle and how he thinks. After reading about Bill Gates’ think week, I felt inspired by it.
Bill Gates Think Week is basically when Bill Gates would take a week or two and escape work and disconnect. He would go to an isolated cabin in the Cedar Forest in the Pacific Northwest. His cabin would be stocked with Diet Orange Crush and Diet Coke. He dedicates his time to read papers his Microsoft employees had written on pitching new innovations or investments. No visitors are allowed except one year when he allowed a reporter from the Wall Street Journal to come along. The reporter realized that Bill Gates would spend at least 18 hours a day reading and creating ideas & outlines for Microsoft’s future. One of these Think Weeks inspired Bill Gates to write his infamous 16-page memo called the Internet Tidal Wave. He believed that the future of technology is the internet and it eventually led to the creation of the Internet Explorer.
Think Week Benefits
- Focus: Since there are no distractions, you can think clearly and your ability to focus increases.
- New Ideas: Escaping from the day-to-day gives a fresh perspective and can allow new innovations to come through.
- Recharge: Alleviates the feeling of being burnt out and keeps your mind fresh.
- Improves Problem Solving: Disconnecting has proven to allow yourself to have clarity and think better.
- Reduce Stress: Studies have shown that by removing yourself from an environment it reduces the effect of stress.
How To Do Your Own Think Week
While we all do not have the luxury to have our private plane take us to a secluded cabin in the Pacific Northwest, there are ways we can create our own Think Week.
Choose A Location
Travel if you can, however the location doesn’t have to be far. It can be anywhere that removes you from work and distractions. All you have to do is find a quiet, isolated space. Early on in Bill Gates career his first Think Weeks was at his grandmother’s house.
Dedicate A Timeframe
Pick the date(s) and block off the timeframe in your calendar. That way you are committed to taking this Think Week. At least for me, if it is not on the calendar the chance of anything happening is slim.
Social Media Detox
Social media is now a big part of our lives and one of the biggest distractions ever. Sometimes being on social media can lead to frustration. Just get off it and disconnect.
Try not to commit to too many things during your Think Week. Remember, this is the time to unwind and just let your mind creatively think. If cooking isn’t your thing, then don’t do it. You can have your meals prepped or delivered.
Write It Down
Get yourself a journal for journaling or documenting your ideas. I always have a journal with me and it is what I call my random notebook. I write down anything that comes to mind. It’s where I write down professional goals, blog post ideas, photoshoot locations, outfit ideas, or anything random that comes to mind that I want to act on.
Reading helps ignite innovations. This can be fiction or nonfiction or about a special project you are working on. Ever since I’ve been reading more, it has helped spark my creativity and I think differently too. If you are into reading novels, I have a list of book recommendations. Did you know that Bill Gates’ holiday reading list inspired me to create my own holiday reading list?
My Thoughts On Think Week
While I haven’t officially taken a Think Week yet, looking back there are things I’ve done that emulate a mini Think Week and I did notice the benefits. When I’m under less stress, I noticed that not only has my anxiety been reduced, but I am able to be more productive at work. I can write a blog post quickly with a higher quality of work that I am proud of. My mind doesn’t feel so flustered when I write whatever is brewing in my head. It’s like a sense of relief. Seeing these benefits really inspired me to do my own Think Week. Now I’m going to look in my calendar when I should do it!
Have you heard of Think Week? What do you think about it?