This article on entitled Four steps to work on the go illustrates precisely why many of us are unable to be more innovative.

The article advocated:

  • Using our mobile phones to talk, read documents and use apps while walking between appointments.
  • Grabbing the opportunity to network with commuters on the bus and other parents at children’s swimming lesson.
  • Mentally making to-do lists, plans of attack and schedules as we wait for, or make a coffee.
  • And: “tak[ing] in your surroundings”, “let[ing] your subconscious guide you to points of interest” and “com[ing] up with a good idea.”

To suggest we fill up every spare moment with “productive” work-related activities, and then still somehow have the mental quietude to “be inspired” amidst all this busy-ness is ludicrous.

Inspiration and flashes of insight seldom come when we are busy being “productive”, where our conscious mind is focused on getting things done, fixed, sorted, prioritised, delegated, managed, networked, crossed off and … what were we talking about again?

It is not possible to imagine what could be when we are caught up in what needs to be done next.

Want inspiration? Go for a walk without thinking about work. Leave the to-do lists behind when getting coffee. Don’t look at your smartphone on the bus or the toilet. Stop and savour the smell of chloramines when at the pool with your children!