Focusing on a healthy and productive mindset is crucial in our current economic and social environment in light of the global pandemic. The balance between personal and professional life has become more connected than ever. Our working environment has transcended into our personal space for many professionals. But how effectively can we step away, both physically and psychologically, from work commitments for downtime amongst a busy working schedule for clarity and reflection while adapting to new environments?
To perform professionally and productively in a remote working space, we must allow ourselves time to take a step back to declutter the mind, disconnect from responsibilities and refocus. Technologist and business leader Bill Gates believes the only way to achieve this is by engaging in what he brands as a ‘think week‘; a method that Gates has been practising and accepts is imperative for success. This method ties into how digital marketing agencies can inspire fresh new ideas for digital media and how Digital PR teams can brainstorm and strategize to their fullest potential
What is the ‘think week’ method, and how does it apply to digital marketing?
Twice a year, Gates retreats to a secluded space for seven days with only business-related documents, leaving behind social media and devices and breaking all communication with the outside world. Gates calls these his ‘think weeks’. In this space, Gates describes some of his best work being done as fresh new ideas are able to wash into a clear mindset without any distractions. But how far can we engage in our own ‘think weeks’ for productivity?
It is realistic to assume the average person does not have the accessibility or privilege to block out a biannual think week, which is a slightly unrealistic goal. Gate’s ability to detach and recharge is inspiring but it isn’t relatable for most people worldwide. Instead we have learnt to disconnect from the online world by reducing our screen time and making our work tasks a priority to increase levels of productivity.
However, at Embryo, we believe that a ‘think Week’ can help spark innovative ideas. It can help us put together campaigns that meet our clients’ KPI’s—going for a walk or taking a break from my laptop at lunchtime is a great way to spark my idea generation and allow me to think of strategies that I can implement for our B2B and B2C clients.
How can we personally apply the ‘Think Week’ method to our digital lives?
Embrace your new working environment. Just as Gates retreats to a new location, our transition to the new remote ways of working offers the potential of a fresh new perspective and an increase to our creativity. Allow the remote way of working to retreat from the office with a different and comfortable environment, inspiring ideas to flow. While the boundaries between the workspace and living space seem blurred, it can be difficult to disconnect.
At Embryo, the Digital PR team is always thinking of new ways to increase brand awareness for clients. We strategize and engage in weekly brainstorm sessions to research reactive PR opportunities and allow time to inspire larger campaign ideas. These sessions can also extend to other departments within digital marketing that offer their professional advice on fresh new ideas. If you are working in the digital world, engaging in a think week could allow teams to envision the end goal and reflect on previous strategies’ key learnings.
How can digital marketing companies apply the ‘think week’ method to internal structures?
Digital marketing companies can incorporate the ‘think week’ method into company culture in ‘think days’ or ‘think hours’. HR and business leaders can assign a time frame for employees to disconnect from the workplaces’ day-to-day responsibilities and regroup. This allows employees to declutter the mind and refocus on winning strategies for the company away from the distractions of meetings and other commitments while giving them a specific period to motivate employees to accomplish new ideas and goals for digital media and marketing strategies. Issuing biannual or quarterly ‘think days’ could allow teams to create a productive space away from daily responsibilities in the workplace, reflect on their departments’ broader goals, and brainstorm new ideas.