Don’t know about you, but I love the idea of the artist’s retreat. The little writer’s cabin in the woods. The creative bungalow somewhere far away. The place to yourself. My father used a somewhat romantic term for the idea: he called it ‘the caravan in the swamp.; It’s the notion of a place surrounded by nothingness - swamp, or desert, or jungle or snow - empty or bleak or even inhospitable, but lit and luxurious on the inside, warm, welcoming, perfect just for you. Your carved-out creative cave, your place to be you.

Whether it’s picturesque and worthy of a magazine cover, or whether it’s a small motel room, a simple loft, an undecorated shed, a quiet corner…an undisturbed place in a coffee shop…do you have a retreat?

And hat might you accomplish if you could simply escape the noise?

Find some silence. Go there and create, for a few hours, for a few days? Could you get it done? The big one? The project that could change things for you? Is it conceivable you might finally master it?

Carving out silence is not selfish. It is productive. Finding a space to work wonders is not unnecessary indulgence. It’s crucial heightened efficiency.

…while we’re playing with romantic imagery: How do you picture yourself in this? Are you the artist-released, wildly splashing paints and pumping music? Or the quieter designer or architect with the rimless glasses, silently bringing form to dreams with lines on a page? Are you the novelist telling the tale by the fireside, or the philosopher grappling with the worries of the world?

Picture yourself that way. Your own sense of who you are is important to your productivity. Then carve out that space, that place, that blessed retreat. Shut out the voices, find your own, bring your highest abilities and greatest focus to bear…and you might change things for yourself. You might get it done. You might sign the canvas. You might type ‘the end’ on the final page of that manuscript.

Will you be taking a retreat? Maybe it’s time.

If you have a specific picture of yourself in mind, why not inspire us too? Share it. Describe it in the comments section. Let’s hear yours.

Now get out there and produce. Work miracles. It’s your career, your life, your opportunity. Award yourself the possibility of time and silence. Find your own caravan in the swamp, and start making miracles. You could ‘own’ your industry.

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Douglas Kruger is a bestselling business author and leading professional speaker. Visit