Solve Problems By Detaching

We are all trying to get something more and get problems solved every day. And a counterintuitive approach to problem solving is often to get away from your problems. I like to get away to remote and serene places to get my mind off of things.

It opens things up rather than converges. I get tunnel vision when I am trying harder to solve something that can get frustrating and elusive.

You gain more perspective and insights by letting things sit for a while. Your mind is extremely powerful and your subconscious can work to make sense of issues you face as well as bring forward associations and solutions to your harder problems.

Try and make it a daily practice to get away from your work and let your mind ruminate and relax. Here are some ways that you can inject a little detachment to your work day:

  • Walk for 30 minutes. You can be quiet, look around and simply enjoy distractions.
  • Take a bike ride. Run errands or head to a lunch destination by biking from place to place.
  • Get outdoors.¬†Find nature trails or uphill hikes that get your heart pumping and use a lot of coordination. Nature tends to restore and keeps you focused on what is in front of you.
  • Swim laps. It’s meditative and relaxing to swim along a lane and just work your body. Not much equipment needed and you can easily go for a while until you are tired out.
  • Drive to an overlook. Beautiful places and expanses are extremely refreshing. You feel small in the vastness. Drive to a lookout and take in big views. Pray, meditate or sit without thoughts or worries.

You can keep grinding it out, but today’s work requires much more adept thinking with creative solutions. Distance, detachment and introspection taps into a part of yourself that can come up with wonderful solutions.

Be sure to jot your ideas down on your iPhone or pad of paper. It’s always handy to see what comes out of your mind and heart when you change context and location.

How can you change up your daily routine to get away more?

The Myth of Credentialism

The logic of getting more education or credentials used to make sense in the past in the industrial economy. Things were nice and neat then. If you wanted a promotion or you got laid off, the thought process of becoming more marketable by getting an MBA, a law degree or another degree altogether could position you for a better track than where you were.

In essence, this kind of thinking was a bet based on companies, recruiters and HR professionals looking at the signals you are presenting to slot you into a known hierarchy. The model and the credentials assume that there’s a nice box you can fit within.

However, if you are paying attention, look at the trends:

  • Companies are getting smaller, not bigger
  • LinkedIn shows a regular pattern of people switching jobs every 3-5 years
  • Older people are expensive and competing with younger talent a fraction of their pay
  • We have access to talent anywhere and everywhere in the world
  • What is working for a company can evaporate next year
  • Anyone can be an entrepreneur now
  • You can learn any skill you want. If you want to, that is.
  • Those at the top and the bottom have access to the same information and tools.

If you want to go $60K in debt to get some more credentials, ask yourself how that fits into the new economy and the trends. It assumes someone values and wants to pay for your new credentials.

What if you took that debt and invested it into an idea instead? Think about the bet you are making. You have the opportunity to put yourself on your own path. You get to learn skills that open the world up to you rather than limit you to someone else’s temporary paradigm for cash flow.

Just because something is working now in a business does not mean it will last for the next five years, much less the next year.

Yes, credentialism is a myth and dangerous bet. You could end up on the short end of the stick over-educating yourself while the world is outpacing your degree and learnings. It’s an old mindset for an old economy.

When you live in a world where someone who does not go to college can make millions if they work hard, learn from their failure and can test their ideas over and over, how does credentialism fit?

What’s your strategy for staying relevant and valuable enough to make the big bucks?

Build Change Into Your Workday

I try to mix things up and change the routes I drive, places I work, people I meet and even houses I live in. Constantly experimenting and finding what is possible or what may work keeps a certain freshness to how I can approach work or do deals.

There’s a lot of value in having habits. I don’t necessarily want to rethink how to make my bed or do laundry or keep my house in order. Being efficient and turning off my brain and letting my habits simply guide me has its own rewards.

But in business, I always want to be pushing on my creativity. I think it’s easy to get stuck and being solely functional. The bigger opportunities get missed this way. And it’s easy to happen if I glue myself to an office or a crowd of people or seeing the same ideas over and over.

While I was out hiking at the end of my workday, I was thinking about how I wandered around Breckenridge, CO where we are living for a bit and worked in 4 different places today. I had many conversations – some sitting and others with headphones and walking miles around the area.

I was getting to know people, hash out ideas and explore deals to see how they might work for me and other people.

A lot of my business coaching works becomes about productivity and getting things done. That’s a convergent approach to work.

Moving and changing the form factor continually helps me diverge. I can think broader and take in inspiration as well as imagine solutions and opportunities. It’s really great to have that kind of flexibility and flow in a work day. When I get clarity on what’s possible, it’s easy for me to drive on making ideas happen.

Changing up how you work lends itself to staying fresh by continually experimenting.

What if you changed things up more? Can you mix it up more to keep yourself fresh?