Be a tourist in your own workplace!

As you prepare for "back to school" week and the return to work, it can be difficult to adjust to the routine of the working week after a Summer break.  And you may not be looking forward to the daily timetable and diary commitments.

So perhaps it's worth reflecting for a moment on what made your Summer break so exciting, relaxing, refreshing?  How much of the value you gained was about where you went and how much of it was about your approach, your attitude and your state of mind while you were there?

Typically as a tourist, we might experience a sense of excitement when we visit somewhere different.  We may find we are more receptive to doing something new and keen to discover something different.  Perhaps we're more open-minded as we try new ways of traveling, navigating new locations, learning about a new country or a part of the country in which we live.  In a new environment we need to think differently and be more observant as we navigate different routes and find new places.

Think of the way you felt when you tried something different to eat or drank a pint of the local beer!  Remember how it felt to look around at the scenery, a sunset or a sea view.  Recall how clear and uncluttered your mind felt at that moment.

So why not go back to work with the mindset of the tourist?  Try setting aside your habitual responses to situations and start listening carefully to others instead of pre-judging what they are likely to say.  Perhaps you can take a look with fresh eyes at the place where you work and notice some of the interesting features of it, which you would normally take for granted. Try a different way of getting to work is this is possible - walk part of the route or cycle to work.  If you are a hot-desker, try sitting somewhere different and if you have a regular desk, maybe think about swapping with someone if you can.  Take something different to work for your lunch or find somewhere new to get your sandwich.

Breaking our habitual responses and making small changes can be refreshing and keeping fresh and creative may be easier than you think.  As I was finishing writing this blog I came across an interesting article about creativity from Oishii Creative, who are based in Los Angeles.  They talk about breaking habits and becoming receptive to different approaches and new ideas.  They say that this is part of their philosophy for maintaining their creative mindset - you can read their article here:

So if you are going back to school or work, try thinking like a tourist, keeping an uncluttered mind and opening yourself up to new experiences as they arise!

Izzy Ixer
Director and Principal Consultant
Blue Pebble Coaching

28 August 2016