How Working Offsite Can Spur Creativity

You’re sitting in your work space (which could be a real office, the front of your store while you wait for customers, or a room in your home) trying to come up with your next big idea or work through your newest problem.  You look around and you’re in the same environment that you were in when you’ve developed great ideas and solutions before but just can’t seem to come up with anything today! What’s going on?

Sometimes being in a familiar place can hinder your creativity because you have become accustomed to thinking and acting a certain way while you’re there.  A great, and oftentimes inexpensive, way to overcome this problem is to define your goal, set aside some time, and go work offsite!

Have a Goal

Working offsite can be fun and productive but it can also turn into a waste of time if you don’t go with a goal in mind.  Why is it so important that you have a goal picked out ahead of time? The fact that you’re in a new location is both a major benefit and potential pitfall; the same new scenery and stimuli in your offsite workspace that will spur your critical thinking can also be potential distractions. Before you choose your offsite location and block out time, have a specific problem or objective you want to work on – this will help make sure the valuable time you spend offsite will be as productive as possible.  

Choosing a Location

Working offsite is most effective if you can physically leave the space you’re accustomed to in its entirety.  Now, the image of hotels, conference rooms, or expensive resorts that executive teams of big companies use may pop into your head but, working offsite doesn’t have to be extravagant.  A great strategy is to look up your local coffee shops and find one that has seating, block out a few hours on your calendar, go order your favorite drink, sit down and start thinking about your problem.  You’ll be amazed at how the change in scenery will spark your creativity!

Maybe, for one reason or another, you can’t entirely escape from your typical workspace – that’s ok!  Perhaps you work in your home office or in the front of your store, change it up! Go work in your dining room, kitchen, or outside sitting on a chair in front of your store or house.  Simply moving to a spot that you’re not familiar with while working will help you begin to think in a different way!

A Practical Example

This information is fine and dandy but, does it actually work?  It might not for everyone but I think the potential outcome of solving a problem or developing a new idea makes working offsite worth a try.  I find working offsite is especially effective for me when I need to employ a different part of my brain. I handle Propell3r’s finances and the majority of the bookkeeping consulting for our clients, but I also write these blogs and lead our Propell3r Podcast.  The type of mindset it takes to handle finance compared to blogs and podcasts is incredibly different. When it is time for me to switch off the left side of my brain and turn on right side, I choose a local coffee shop such as The Newsroom or North Town Coffee House to go with my laptop, headphones, buy a coffee, and start working.  I have had some of my most productive creative hours sitting at a coffee shop, sipping on a mocha, listening to tunes, and writing.

What’s Next?

Check back every Tuesday and Thursday on Propell3r.com for new blogs about business topics that matter!  If you haven’t already go check out the Propell3r Podcast, where we talk about business topics and interview business owners, professionals, and influencers about their businesses and lives.  If you want to keep up on all things Propell3r including our original content, articles we enjoy, and local businesses and events we love to highlight, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!

Sam Johnson