Oasis, calm, I have been talking recently about “lemmings in suits”, an expression that describes people caught up in the trends of the modern business world. Busyness is one of those trends that sweep people into unproductive behavior. It also robs you of your time to observe, think, discuss and create unique solutions to problems. As a leader, you need to find your oasis, or your place where you can get away from the bombardment to your senses.

I opened my internet home page yesterday, and counted what was being presented to me on the computer screen. I saw five news headlines that toggled through the center of the screen, until five new ones came up. Surrounding these were 21 bullet points, 20 links to other issues, 10 issues that were “Trending Now”, 9 video links, five advertisements (one with lots of animation), and one poll question. Yikes. It was just too much to digest. So I went and sat in front of the television to watch my favorite sitcom. Over the 30 minute period, I watched 20 minutes of the comedy and 20 thirty second advertisements.

Even if I were to shut off all electronic equipment, and go for a trip to the mall, the movie theater or a local restaurant, I would be inundated with music, advertisements, television monitors and countless other mediums to get my attention. So unless I am very intentional about finding an oasis to have some peace, my mind will only be allowed to rest when I am asleep (assuming I don’t have a bad dream). If sleeping is the only time I allow my brain downtime, and I am so busy that I’m not getting enough hours of rest, what effects does this have on my brain function? I came across this article which sheds some light on the effect our busyness has on our body.

It’s time to take back our time, and find a time each day to let our minds wander. Your mind is the most power asset you have, but it needs you to provide it with the right environment to work to its potential. You will find that you not only will develop creative solutions to challenges, but you will also discover opportunities that you would have never noticed as you rushed about in the bedlam of your world.

Here are some of the places that I find my oasis:

• Airplanes still do not allow the use of cell phones or wifi from the time the doors close until touchdown. You must turn off anything with an on/off switch. What a perfect oasis time.

• Distracted drivers are becoming the number one cause of accidents. Music, cell phone calls, breakfast, coffee and even personal grooming are all things people do while driving in their cars. Turn everything off, and use this time as oasis time.

• Walk run, jog, bike or rollerblade. It is great exercise, and a great oasis time. I am always amazed at the number of things that come into my mind during these respites from the busy world. Caution – leave the ipod and earphones at home. You will be safer, and much more open to use your mind during this oasis time.

• It is summer time and time to put out the deck and patio furniture. Try spending a few minutes sitting out looking at the sky, but leave the boom-box off. Especially at night, staring up at the stars will give you a whole new outlook on your world, and ideas will start creeping into your mind from some of the most unexpected areas.

I could give you examples of ideas that have come to my mind on airplanes, in cars, while on my rollerblades or lying on my deck, many of which have had huge impact. I try to keep a pen and paper handy, and often come away with 3 or 4 ideas that I would never have thought of in my normal course of events.

Find your oasis, get comfortable, and let your mind wander. You will be amazed at what that mind can produce.