Today I was presented with one of those logistical puzzles that comes from working with a baby at home. We needed to be out of the house while some workers were there, during B’s normal nap, when I slotted time to write a blog post.
Prior to the 6 month mark, I had a strategy for this situation. Go through the whole nap time routine - milk, diaper change, read a book, and then into the car seat. B would usually fall asleep during the 10 minute drive to the coffee shop. And if he didn’t, a quick walk around the block would do the trick. We have this great car seat stroller system, so I would just pop him out of the car, into the stroller, put up the shade, and I could usually get 2-3 hours of work done. B actually slept better and longer in coffee shops. It must have been just the perfect amount of background noise. His own live sound machine and it got Mom out of the house too. Such a win win! (apologies for the large pictures…keep scrolling!)
Sadly, I discovered this routine didn’t really cut it shortly after B reached 6 months. One day, I had a conference call scheduled so I loaded him up and off to the coffee shop we went. We arrived a 1/2 hour before the call to give us enough time to make sure B fell asleep. And it just wasn’t happening…. He was babbling and needed to be looking at me to not cry. Well I knew there was no way that was going to work for a 60 minute call so at the last minute, I loaded him back into the car and proceeded to drive around for an hour while I took my call. It worked out, but that’s the kind of on-the-spot logistical creativity that it takes to work and be the primary caregiver.
So back to today, I knew the coffee shop option wasn’t going to work. My master plan was to run through the drive-through for a coffee, drive him around for 30 minutes, and once he was solidly asleep, I’d pull into a parking lot and get my post written.
And then the most interesting thing happened…
As I was driving along East County Line Road, coffee in hand, looking at the farm fields and mountains in the distance, my mind started to wander. I was thinking about the process of creating my new course and some of the pitfalls I run into when I start the creation process. I realized that I need external accountability to get the content created. And then I thought about all the other things that course creators need… testimonials, feedback, and ideas for sales copy. As my mind jumped from place to place, I formed the beginnings of a brand new service - The Course Creation Incubator. You can learn more about it here. This is a newborn idea (ha! Love the pun), but I’d love to keep you posted as it’s refined.
So the moral of the story is - I set out to drive around for 30 minutes and saw those 30 minutes as wasted time that just had to be part of my day in order to get my work done. But in the end, those 30 minutes provided some of the best insight into my business and where I want it to go than I’ve had in a long time. (My mind didn’t stop at the Incubator idea, I jumped all over the place and got really clear on my vision and mission for my offerings!).
There are a lot of times during pregnancy and, maternity leave with your newborn, when you just don’t have the energy or ability to sit down at a computer and crank out a lot of work. You may have thought of these hours as time away from your business, BUT these times can actually be the most valuable. Manoush Zomorodi discovered this when she was walking her colicky baby around NYC and came up with an idea for a new podcast. (She wrote about it in her book, Bored & Brilliant.) I discovered it on a morning drive, coffee in hand, with a napping baby in the backseat. You may discover it during pregnancy when all you can manage to do is stare out the window and your mind seems blank. Or while spending time staring at your sleeping newborn. These are the hours where brilliance shows itself.
Let your mind wander. Don’t berate yourself for “not working”. Listen to your inner thoughts and you may just receive your biggest AHA / realization moments that will catapult your business to the next level.
Here’s a few ideas for giving yourself the space to mind wander -
- Go for a walk outside. This time away from the computer, in the fresh air, can do wonders for mind wandering.
- Go for a drive. Preferably find one with nice scenery and little traffic.
- Stare out the window. Sometimes that’s all it takes, it’s just important to step away from technology.
What do you do to get inspired? I’d love to hear from you!
Up next, we’ll talk about ways to capture these ideas and actually do something with them. Stay tuned!