Very enjoyable article in this week’s Schumpeter blog in The Economist: In praise of laziness and the benefits of “masterful inactivity.” The basic premise: “Businesspeople would be better off if they did less and thought more.”
Rather than lean in, as has been the main focus recently, we need to lean back – particularly for creative thinking.
Creative people’s most important resource is their time—particularly big chunks of uninterrupted time—and their biggest enemies are those who try to nibble away at it with e-mails or meetings. Indeed, creative people may be at their most productive when, to the manager’s untutored eye, they appear to be doing nothing.
For the more creative aspects of project management – building the teams and matching personalities, forming the strategic vision, creating the planned delivery, juggling the moving parts – maybe we should take this advice to heart and book a room just for ourselves. Turn off the phone, set Outlook to offline, and just let the creativity flow, uninterrupted.