How to Think in a Straight Line

For 13 years now, I have been out of the ‘corporate’ working world. In fact, when I left my lead graphic designer job in January 1999, the Internet was just starting to ‘catch on.’ I had to learn about all things cyber in-between diaper changes.

After 1, then 2, then 3 babies, I had gotten use to quite a bit of noise and beloved distraction in my life. The only alone time I had was when my head was on the pillow.

Insert inspiration for future invention, and I grabbed one of the kid’s old composition notebooks and started taking notes. Page after page, I sketched and tinkered with my brainstorms, usually while I waited for the boys during their sports practices. After coming up with some possible designs, I was really invigorated to think them through thoroughly and start generating mock-ups. I seemed to be struggling with focusing on fine-tuning my ideas (oh, did I already mention my house is on the loud side?)  My writer friend Katie said, “You’re not able to think in a straight line.” That’s it! I needed to carve out some uninterrupted ‘thinking in a straight line’ time. With 5 people in the house, I needed to get creative.

© susan bee goods, llc

The Thinking Spot was born! (aka Meditation Garden, Serenity Plot)  I raked out an overgrown corner of the back yard, plopped in chairs, and told the boys this was my quiet area. While they happily ran around the back yard, I sat in my spot and designed away. Bonus: The extra chair came in handy for my husband and I to enjoy a quiet glass of wine at happy hour.

Look around. Where can you carve out your Thinking Spot?

~Susan Bee

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