De-teching From Time to Time Can Fuel Innovation

A few weekends ago, for one glorious afternoon, I turned off all of my tech devices, pulled out a pile of Harvard Business Review magazines (the hard copy kind) and, with nothing but a legal pad and pen in hand, set out to engage in some thinking time. I sat on  my deck, without even my Bose SoundLink, and just lost myself in learning. I literally had about two years of back issues to catch up on. While I didn’t get through them all, I made a good dent and, better yet, I ended up with many pages of ideas and insights to apply to my work.

  • Ideas for blog posts for myself and my clients
  • Ideas for social media content
  • Ideas for boosting my productivity
  • Whitepaper ideas, article ideas, presentation ideas, book ideas…
  • New technology and interesting app ideas (I didn’t say I was giving up tech indefinitely!)

It was, as I said, a truly glorious day. But it was two, or more, weekends ago. Since that time I’ve been looking at the stack of magazines stuffed with sheets of yellow paper containing all of those great ideas and wishing I could find the time to follow through on them. But I had too much “real work” to do. Too many client accounts to manage. Too many articles and books to write. Too many new proposals to get out the door.

Then, finally, on a rainy Wisconsin Saturday (so far it’s been a delightful summer in Wisconsin–not!) I pulled out the stack of ideas and began plowing through them–creating blog posts and online content, checking on new apps and online tools and consolidating lists. It felt good. And it made me think: I need to do this more often!

If you’re like me, you probably also spend a whole lot of your time doing and not nearly enough thinking. It feels good to just kick back and think for a while. Without the interruption of tech.

It’s a trend that’s catching on and, in fact, one of the  most interesting studies I’ve read over the past year or so addresses the topic of tech and the millennial generation, which we tend to think is heavy into tech adoption. Not necessarily. The implications can be interesting–and impactful–for your business and your business efforts.

JWT’s “Embracing Analog: Why Physical Is Hot” is a really good read. I highly recommend it.


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