Vacations and creativity

Like most of Finns I have my vacation this month. As typical Europeans we have quite long vacations and sometimes people think that it is a kind of waste that reduces productivity.

It is well admitted that people need sleep to be productive. Overtime and trashing at work is quite typical in our profession. But still we ignore the agile principle of sustainable pace. After months of overtime people are so burned down that it is a miracle if they get any significant output.

The time that has not been allocated to a specific purpose might become the most productive part of all. Vacations are wonderful places for that provided of course that you do not have a tight schedule for your holiday. You may guess that I do not behave like that. Actually I live one day at a time. I have about 50 topics to this blog, several books to read and few home computers to upgrade. Most importantly I have now time for exercise. Weather has been good for walking and for work in the garden. I do not run marathons like some of my colleagues.

I have always combined walking and thinking. New ideas pop up when I walk. That is wonderful time considering them thoroughly.

I have a mini-laptop, Asus EEE 901 with 20GB SSD using Ubuntu 9.04 to be exact. It is an excellent tool for surfing the web and maintaining this new web site. I appreciate its small size, long battery life and connectivity. This is my first really personal computer – it is with me all days long. Now it is possible to take notes and have them with me. It is my extended memory.

I remember the word creativity in the title, so let’s talk about that now. One part of creativity is brainstorming – a wild burst of new ideas. It is only possible if you have free non-allocated time. In a tight schedule you pick the most obvious solutions and hurry on to get things done. During the vacations you have that luxury. I do not mean that you should spend your holidays to thinking work related things but people like me do it anyway not because someone pays for it but because it is fun.