9 Inspirational Things to Do During Downtime

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doodleWhat do you do when you go through slow periods with work? Do you review your goals, organize your files or spruce up your web site? Or do you take a step back from work and enjoy a much needed break?

In the very rare moments when I see a slow down in my day-to-day schedule, I try to use the time to inspire creativity, get myself thinking in a different way or learn something new. Here is a list of inspiring activities you can try the next time work slows or when you just need a break from the daily grind.

  1. Doodle – I’m always surprised by what some quality doodling will do for idea generation. Freeform scribbling always seems to get me thinking and developing new ideas.
  2. Read a favorite book – Whether your preference is fiction, autobiographies, poetry or another genre, reading something you enjoy gives your subconscious a chance to stray unrestricted.
  3. Play with the kids – Have you watched your kids play lately? Kids have amazing creativity and imagination that’s so natural. It’s hard not to be inspired!
  4. Go to a museum – Museums, art shows, musical events and other activities that center around creativity are a fail safe way to get inspired and develop new ideas.
  5. Listen to music – Music can be a great accompaniment to just about anything. A good song can psych you up, make you think and get you inspired.
  6. Surf the Web – Visiting sites you’ve never seen before can quickly build up a stockpile of ideas and inspirations. StumbleUpon is a great tool that makes mindless surfing as easy as a click.
  7. Take a walk – Whether you’re walking outside, taking laps in your kitchen or sweating it out on the treadmill, walking is a great no-brainer activity that gives your mind a chance to absorb inspiration.
  8. Flip through your photos – I have a couple of digital cameras and don’t download the photos to my computer nearly often enough, so I always have a stockpile of photos in all categories to peruse for ideas.
  9. Watch a home-improvement show – Home-improvement shows, especially the ones that show colorful designs or creative layouts, can be great ways to find inspiration.

For me, the less I plan my downtime and the more I just go with the flow (very hard for me!), the more inspiration I find. As long as you can let your mind relax, you may be surprised by the ideas that get sparked. If you like to keep your downtime activities work-focused, here are a few other ideas: Bored? 7 Ways Turn Downtime into Uptime.

What’s you favorite thing to do during downtime?

Image credit: ba1969

Alyssa GregoryAlyssa Gregory
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Alyssa Gregory is a digital and content marketer, small business consultant, and the founder of the Small Business Bonfire — a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs.

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