I am attending a leadership team offsite in the Santa Cruz mountains for a couple of days. I’ve been to the Santa Cruz mountains many times before yet I am reminded of how important it is to get away, shake things up, and get a change of scenery.
Here are five reasons you need to get away.
1. Santa Cruz is the opposite direction of my normal commute into the Silicon Valley. Just driving in a new direction reminded me of how ingrained my normal daily routine is. From beginning to end, the day brought new perspectives, fresh ideas, and a different approach to the work we were doing. New perspectives can reinvigorate a project, a team, as well as the individuals involved.
2. The moment I stepped out of my car I was struck by the different smells, the fresh air, the scent of pine trees and lavender. Huge Redwoods, blue sky, and rugged hillsides, all a reminder to appreciate the simple. In our fast-paced and complex world it is refreshing to come back to the simplicity of nature.
3. The property at which we are staying is beautiful, yet it’s different and unfamiliar and thus, outside my comfort zone. I didn’t know where anything was, the food was not my typical fare. But as the day progressed, the unknown became the familiar, and curiosity kicked in. My comfort zone expanded and my focus shifted to exploring my new surroundings. Growth only happens outside our comfort zone. If you want to grow then you need to be willing to occasionally get a little uncomfortable.
4. We held meetings in a variety of locations throughout the property, some indoors and some out. Each location created new dynamics and fresh ideas. When the surroundings and scenery around you change, problems may be seen from a new point of view, and new solutions often present themselves.
5. Put a team of people in a new environment, away from the familiar, in a beautiful setting, for an extended period of time, and the result will be deeper relationships, shared experiences, and a stronger sense of belonging. This all pays dividends in the future through increased trust and greater teamwork.
Routine is important as it allows us to become more efficient at the work we do. But there is also great value in getting away, breaking from your routine and getting a change of scenery. Are you stuck in a rut? Pack a bag and hit the road. You may find all you’re looking for with a change of scenery.