Every March for over three decades, the SXSW Conference has been held in Austin. The conference has three fun focuses: music, cinema and innovation. At the last conference, LG unveiled a machine that produces fresh ice cream based on your preferences. Just like a Nespresso machine.
You insert two different capsules into the machine: one for flavour, and one for texture. Because you may prefer a sorbet-esque texture while your friend wants a softer ice creamy/frozen yoghurty texture.
Each capsule has a QR code so the machine knows exactly what you want. The sensor automatically scans this code and the machine starts the process of making your tasty treat.
I know what you’re thinking:
We can't offer you ice cream, but we can off you skills that will make you think creatively and develop the next big thing.
Because when businesses act like startups, they come out with delicious things… like ice cream machines.
Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.
I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...
Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.
And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.
The cognitive load is real, y'all.
But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.
Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.
The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.
Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.
And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.
Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.
Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.
Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.
When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.
Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.