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The glorious heatwave we’ve been enjoying has produced a semi-holiday like vibe across the country, with summer dresses and shorts getting far more than their normal number of outings and a glow that only the warmth of the sun can bring.

It’s made me very wistful for holidays, when even the most harassed of parents can hope to get a little time to themselves.  These precious moments, a chance to be still and actually think are so good for us.  You don’t need much to make the most of this time, but a few things are essential (and a few others I’ll mention later make it perfect!)

The must haves are simply a notebook and pen.

Firstly, they can clear your mind, jot down those nagging to do lists for when you get home-once they’re written down put them aside until then.

It’s amazing how quickly solutions to niggling problems, simple paths through tricky situations can present themselves in these moments and you wouldn’t want to miss out on committing them to text.  Physically writing down issues, actually seeing them in black and white can provide true clarity and offer up solutions.

Having your journal just there also enables you to just write- random thoughts, dreams, plans, stories, jokes, doodles, it doesn’t really matter what -just doing it can have the most wonderfully therapeutic effect.  New ideas and possibilities flourish in these moments and without a precious notebook by your side, there’s every chance that these revelations will get lost in the day to day frenzy of life.  Also, giving these sparks of brilliance page space allows you to explore them more fully, it can give focus and allow consideration of various options.

On holiday, you are hopefully exposed to new and wonderful things and people, write these experiences and sensations down, you never know when you’ll need them.  Penning them will almost certainly help you to remember them more accurately and maybe delve deeper into them.

These are not the times that you want a laptop or tablet to distract you, these devices will simply make you feel anxious about not working, the temptation to ‘just reply to that email’ or ‘just update Instagram’ will be too great and it will ruin this self-therapy.  With a notebook you’re also not reliant on battery power or connections, hopefully not high on your list of priorities on holiday.   It’s just you and your jotter-simple but oh so inspiring.  ‘Digital detoxes’ have had a lot of press and in all honesty, I know I would find it hard but I also know how valuable it would be!

There’s also evidence that your content itself changes when you write as opposed to type.  A study by ‘Virginia Berninger, a professor at the University of Washington, reported her study of children revealed they wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus with a keyboard’.  This seems logical, the mechanics of how you’re writing changes so why wouldn’t the content?  According to Psychology Today brain imaging studies have shown that certain areas of the brain are activated through cursive writing but not through keyboarding.  Notebooks by their very nature slow us down, we can’t write as fast as we type, thereby enabling greater consideration and allowing creativity to flow.

So, this summer why not arm your staff with a notebook and just think of the ideas, articulateness and potential that they could come back with?  Or how about giving the most thoughtful of corporate gifts, one which enables your customers to realise just what a great company you must be!

As, for making the time perfect-a gin and tonic would be lovely, thank you!