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Out of Our Minds
Monday, November 14, 2005 3:21 PM
Get Out; Get Smarter
Anita Sharpe on Business

An easy way to raise at least your short-term IQ a few points is to get out of the office -- and don't go do the same old thing you always do when you leave your desk (like play golf, get a latte, or even curl up with a book.)

We often think we have to take a relaxing vacation to some exotic spot to get new perspectives on the world. But business trips are probably underrated for broadening our vistas. I just returned from a five-day trip to northern California (granted, there are worse places to go on business) and feel refreshed despite having done almost nothing that would count as pure 'fun.' In fact, in what is arguably the U.S. capital of cuisine, I only ate two meals outside of a meeting room, a hotel or an airport.

It was invigorating to simply listen to people talk about things I care about --using business to improve the world -- and look at some of the small things going on in other places. For instance: in my room at the Stanford Terrace Inn, the recyling container was bigger than the trash can; in the Delta terminal at SFO, the restaurant noted that it only served organic chicken; in downtown Palo Alto, an imported tea bar called Neotte was drawing a crowd to rival the Starbucks down the street.

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