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Want to experience flashes of creative insight akin to those Bill Gates and artist Chuck Close have? Skillshare CEO Michael Karnjanaprakorn recommends you do what he (and those great thinkers) do, take a week off work:

Every year, Bill Gates goes into seclusion for a “Think Week,” or private retreat, from which employees, friends, and even family are strictly banned….Twice a year, I get out of the office, breaking from my normal routine, for much needed “Think Weeks.” By actively disconnecting and looking at everything from 50,000 feet, I am able to effectively reflect, reset, and clearly rethink my goals and aspirations….For each “Think Week,” I create a life to-do list, do a lot of research, and think through big ideas and challenges deeply. Going through this process has been enlightening.

You don’t have to leave town for a worthwhile time away either, as Karnjanaprakorn mentions:

While traveling to an exotic, off-the-grid location would be great, you can also get a lot accomplished in your home city. Visit a new neighborhood, find a quite spot in the park, or rent a desk at a local co-working space.

Of course, if you can’t take a week off, even a day or a few hours away from the office can provide just enough time and perspective to provide insights. However, the benefits are only earned when you use the time to actively think. See how Karnjanaprakorn and Skillshare utilize “Think Weeks” over on Fast Company.

  • Kadija George

    A day at the spa works for me! The steam room seems to rinse out the ‘little grey cells’ and allows them to breathe. If you need a solution to a problem, take a sauna and a steam…but I do need a minimum of 5 days to write…preferably in a country where i don’t speak the language then i can’t get into deep conversations with anyone…

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