I recently took a weekend trip with a buddy of mine to do some hiking in Utah. He and I try to take this trip every year, and it gives us both time to slow down, reflect on the year, and kick ideas around for our businesses.

On these trips, we spend 4-6 hours hiking on trails through the mountains. We pack sandwiches and water and lunch is usually on a mountain top under clear blue skies. During the hikes, we get a chance to share ideas on what has and has not worked for each of us. We share all kinds of ideas from the past year like newsletters, presentations, client interaction, and best practices. The time is extremely well spent. Now that I am home, I’m using some of the ideas we came up with.

What I mean by all this rambling is that sometimes to really get re-energized, get new fresh ideas, or to improve your business, you need to “get away” for a while.

When I’m caught in the day-to-day bustle, my brain is focused on getting things done. It’s so busy processing information and moving from one task to the next that going “big picture” is nearly impossible. So by changing my environment and schedule around, even for a few days, lets my mind think about other things.

My wife and I have an annual trip that we take with the kids in the summer. We get the same condo on the beach for a couple weeks. Every year we have done this, by the end of the trip we have a new marketing strategy, a new website, a new focus, or something big like that. The reason this happens is because we are able to talk and think about things outside of the day-to-day. And our minds are free to wander and come up with those great ideas. We also have the time to implement those ideas – for example, we completely re-did the SB&K Benefits LLC website during this last trip.

So, have you “gotten away” lately? When you do, don’t just sit by the pool sipping cold drinks – spend the time reading a business book, talking about ideas, letting your mind think about parts of your business you have not thought of in a while. It will be time well spent.