Isolation… Incubation… Innovation

Here we all are, in the middle of a global pandemic, home… in our jammies or yoga pants.

The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the way we’re doing life right now. Businesses are closed, institutions are shut down, travel is restricted. There’s a heightened level of unease each day as we are unable to spend time in our normal rhythms of socializing, frequenting favorite places. The financial pressures are mounting. We feel – and often are – alone.


But what if this isolation could be harnessed as a good thing?

I know we’re all going slightly crazy with our normal social lives being interrupted. We have more time on our hands, which is a thing our hyper-busy culture is not accustomed to. 

I have no children at home. For you parents of young children, your time is being gobbled up by the wants and needs of your kids, I get it. But once they’re in bed or you’ve got a couple of minutes to think, do you ever find your mind chewing on ideas for creative endeavors?

The mind craves stimulation. Our brains need time to think. NOW is the perfect time to cultivate this. We have less travel time to and from work, fewer social obligations, and heck, we’re not spending time getting dressed up for work.

Use this time of scaled-back social commitments to revive the lost art of thinking.

Ask yourself questions, such as:

  • What does humanity need right now?
  • What do I love doing?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my specific, unique talents?
  • What skills would I like to develop?
  • How can I help?

Really take the time to think, brainstorm, journal, dig.


All right. Have you come up with an idea (or ten) of something you’d like to try? Let your idea incubate. Metaphorically speaking, to incubate something is to provide the right conditions for it to grow before hatching time. Now is that time. You’re not behind. You’re not running late. You’re just sitting on the nest, keeping those eggs warm. You’re nurturing your idea. 

Allow yourself space to think creatively. This time of isolation (or at least distancing) is a perfect time to brainstorm, research, and read. 

Sketch out your ideas in rough form in a journal. Or scrap of paper. Whatever. This doesn’t have to be a formal document or business plan. This is you just getting ideas out of your head and onto paper.


Is there an idea brewing inside you that can bring value to the rest of the world? Is it a business venture? A book you want to write? An invention? A new and more effective way of doing something? Solving a big problem in society? Creating a non-profit?

Consider just a few of the amazing innovations that came out of World War 2: the jet engine, pressurized cabins in aircraft, radar, penicillin. 

In more recent times, take a look at a few innovations that rose out of the ashes of 9-11: new uses for robots, social media and crowd journalism, better skyscraper design, airport body scanners, the security industry.

Take this time in relative isolation to incubate your idea.You might be sitting on something that can help make the world a better place. Innovation can – and often does – come from trying times. 


What are the next steps you can take to see your idea come to fruition? Now is a great time to dream, explore and plan.

(Julie, signing off)

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