Time To Think

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Now is the time to slow down. To step away from the Twitter. To take a break from Blogging… or, maybe not.

Where do ideas come from? Do they hit you in the shower? While on a long walk? How do you document your thoughts or revelations? Personally, this Blog is where all of my personal brain matter ideation gets dumped. Some of it never makes it here (it sits on scraps of paper, in the notes section on my iPhone or in one of many Moleskin notebooks scattered throughout my house, offices and briefcases/knapsacks), but the ideas that are simply bubbling over in me get tossed into words that I jam with on this space.

That’s why it’s rare that this Blog takes a vacation, break or hiatus – especially during the holidays or when there is a reprieve in work hours. 

Here’s some full disclosure: my Social Media engagement is not a job. It’s the work I was meant to do, and it’s my passion. If anything, I find the pistons firing most at night, on weekends and during the holidays, so instead of taking a break from Blogging, it just keeps on keeping on (I am very comfortable with that). Admittedly, some might see this as a mild (or massive) form of workaholicism, I see it as my creativity (and art) flowing.

Ideas can’t be stopped.

If anything, you should be your most creative during this time. The more time I get to spend with family and friends, doing the things we wish we had more time to do, the more things get noticed, the more relaxed things get… the more new thoughts trickle in. On top of that – and here’s the biggest idea – the more time there is to simply think. Thinking is important. Thinking helps get you focused, but all of that new thinking has to go somewhere. For me, that "somewhere" is right here.

Don’t question how others conduct themselves.

It’s just as easy for me to look at certain Marketing professionals who shut down all operation and think, "they must not love what they do, if they see their jobs as work," as it is for them to say, "that Mitch Joel should really slow down and take a break from all of the work he does." The thing is, I am taking a break. In fact, so much so, that I have a lot of time to think… and all of that thinking needs a place to go.

Think about that.

Enjoy your holidays. Enjoy your time away from the office and the work. Enjoy your family and friends. Enjoy doing the things you don’t ever really have the time for when the work piles up, but don’t let that stop your creativity, your art and your passion (or sharing it). If anything, use the time you now have to really think. In fact, why not express it for everyone (including yourself) to toy and tinker with?

Think about that.


  1. Mitch, I’m pretty similar to you. Having less “real work” to do means more time to relax and think. It usually means I’m also doing things that I don’t normally do and go to places I don’t normally go. That tends to spark more creative thoughts/ideas purely because I’m changing what’s going on around me.
    The big trick here is to figure out how to get the away time to clear your mind and think even while things are busy. Tough to do.

  2. Hey Mitch,
    Ideas can be stopped.
    Many people are stopping their creativity and flow of ideas by working mundane jobs where they sit and wait for that Friday, that one week off, or that sick day when they are not really sick.
    Your passion and enthusiasm for your work and life.
    As Ken Robinson puts it, you have simply found your Element (The place where the things you love to do and the things you are good at come together.)
    You are one of the lucky few.
    I remember Seth Godin recalling a story where he was working out of the resort somewhere in the Caribbean and he overheard to women saying how pathetic it was working on your vacation. But as he said, pathetic isn’t working on your vacation rather it is waiting for that one week vacation after you slaved all year at a job you feel no passion for.
    Well you, Seth, and many others who may have struggled to where they are today are connecting with their individual talents and passions on a daily basis. And I believe that it is more valuable then any monetary success.
    How you can help.
    Those people who tell you “slow down” are probably not in their Element and can’t really grasp your current state. But instead of saying, they just don’t understand- share your experience (maybe in a future post/book) of how you have found your passion and how others can do the same. It is not an easy task but we are all just waiting to be inspired.
    For all others who want to find out more on the Element – pick up Ken Robinsons book “The Element” or just watch his infamous Ted Talk – “How School Kills Creativity” – http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html
    I also wrote a post about a month ago looking at my own pursuit of my element and Ken Robinsons insights. – http://alex.ikonn.ca/inspiration/unleashing-your-potential/
    And Mitch, since you are attending TED conference this year, I would encourage you to try to chat with Ken and maybe even get him on Media Hacks 🙂 He will making an appearance this year.
    And for everyone else – “Discover the element in yourself and in your own way.”
    Alex “Searching for the Element” Ikonn

  3. Great article! I find it the same way. When I am away from the everyday life (like this Christmas) I just get a lot of inspiration and ideas… I have actually written down enough blog post ideas for the whole month of January already and have published more posts this week then I do in a regular week already. Happy holidays!

  4. Creativity — and the ideas that spring from that creativity — is like a muscle. Exercise the muscle and you’ll be in good shape when you need it. Good ideas keep happening as long as you keep your creativity limber.

  5. Mitch,
    I have met so many people that are truly “stuck” in their lives. They either drink too much, eat too much, engage in other destructive activities. I have learned the hard way that balance is what life and success is all about. Your suggestion to enjoy this time of year with family and friends is well received.
    For those that read this and are looking for balance and harmony in your lives, I suggest spending more time thinking about what is truly important to you and scheduling time for those important thiings. Not just work 🙂
    Best wishes to all for a healthy and successful 2010!

  6. I used to be the guy who would win the “hardest working person in the building” aware each year but it came with a layer of guilt. If I loved working so much, I must be a workaholic. The notion that we must work as a means to an end and focus solely on our years in bad slacks in warmer climes playing shuffle board is rather discouraging.
    Think time – especially during busy times – is paramount. In our fast paced digital download want it now have you see the new app world, without thought it’s all just a bunch of useless clutter.
    We love the toys and the gadgets, the channels and the collaboration, but without thought we achieve nothing.
    We need talent and we need it now. We need writers and creators and thinkers and idea people, now.

  7. It is in deed a creative time for me too. I like the down time to reflect on the year past and look forward to the year to come.
    To me its not work either…my brain is always engaged, even when Xmas shopping! What a wonderful time to look at promotional material and customer relationship management…(one of my pet peeves…)! I was a little disappointed this year though, apart from Dynamite with their ‘Are you on the list?’ campaign, it was pretty uneventful. Maybe I did not do enough shopping!…
    Guilt for always being ON? Nah…its my natural state, I am always ON…there is always something going in there and as you say Mitch, it has to go somewhere…
    I really enjoy reading your blog…so I hope you keep those ideas flowing…
    Creativity is a terrible thing to waste…
    Happy new year!

  8. Great Article Mitch…. “Here’s some full disclosure: my Social Media engagement is not a job. It’s the work I was meant to do, and it’s my passion.”
    Not sure if you or your readers study the holy bible.. however “Vocation” is talked about a ridiculously ammount of time, and is considered a “spiritual” service to you/your Creator…..
    So this is not workaholism, this is God’s Work/Vocation/Love personified….
    Best, Brian-

  9. Hi Mitch,
    Thanks for this post. It is good to know there are others who enjoy their work and view it as play. I do my best thinking when I’m not thinking, as on the back of a motorcycle. I keep a pen and paper in my pocket to jot down ideas. Sometimes I pull my Blackberry out and type it in there, if I think I can keep it from flying away.
    I love the internet, computers, and the constant learning it takes to stay on top of things. I see I’m not alone. 🙂

  10. Thanks…wish you happy holidays.I am surely going to take advantage of this holiday and do some creative stuffs this season..would definitely utilize it in a proper way.It was a great post to read.

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