Where we do it is just as important as How we do it. Location is the key to getting it done!


In the property game there’s the old adage:

“Location, location, location.”

Where you buy is right up there with what you buy. If you purchase a five bedroom mansion in an area where cops are scared to go, chances are you aren’t going to get a good return on investment. 

Exactly the same principle applies to where you do your thinking, your most important work. A place where you are intentionally blocked from the world and cut off from everything, where the only task at hand is the task at hand.

This is what Joseph Campbell likes to call A Sacred Space:

 “You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”

Todd Henry discusses this further in his podcast, Finding A Place Of Your Own.

Being a designer at heart, I love the romantic idea of a dedicated room filled with the artwork of those who inspire me and books of the greats who have tackled the topics I am wrestling with. It’s an evocative notion, especially when we consider the illusiveness of inspiration. Why not give it the best chance possible.

When we consistently use a space for a specific purpose that place begins to almost breed ideas for us.

The space matters, by Seth Godin, explores this exact thought.

“I think we can train ourselves to associate certain places with certain outcomes. There’s a reason they built those cathedrals. Pick your place, on purpose.” Seth Godin

 And the idea of using location, setting or environment as a way to improve customer experience and sales.

“Paco Underhill has written, make the aisles of your store wide enough that shoppers can browse without getting their butts brushed by other shoppers.”

I’m lucky enough to work with talented architects who understand the value of space and the power it has on the creativity of those who utilise it. 

I know what you are thinking, not everyone can afford an awesome office or a “sunlit atrium” but a lack of resources is not an excuse. Sorry for you!

You can use anything you like to engage this space. Just dedicate a single spot, a chair, it can even be a certain song, anything to get you to your “Sacred Space”. Mine at home is my desk, it has my journals and my laptop and that’s it, nothing else, my phone isn’t even allowed on my desk. That shiny, germ brick has no place on there, the distraction of “clickbaity” bullshit is too strong.

If the distractions are too great, escape to a run, hike a trail, a favourite coffee shop, or a group or club like League of Men, just saying!

It’s not so much about the space itself, but what it allows you to do. It’s the intentional, habitual solitude that yields results.

 Where is your sacred space? Comment below.

About Author

Andrew Mack

8 Comments

  1. Pieter van der Merwe on

    Good piece Andrew. And very true. I find adding a timeline to my sacrad space makes it more effective, ie if I routinely use the same place at the same time for the same thing, then I get into that headspace much easier and my outcomes are more efficient and have greater clarity.

  2. Siwa Khambule on

    Another important but over looked topic of having a sacred space. This is what I call my man cave. My creative space.
    Good one Andrew.

  3. I’ve just done some introspective thinking and I’ve to concur, sacred space helps me gets in the zone when I want to get focused on productive work.

  4. Good piece of writing Andrew. Scared place is vital as one has to reflect and devise plans to reach one’s goal. My scared is my desk at home.

  5. Zukiso Makalima on

    Hi Andrew
    This resonates with me, my office at work between 05:00 am and 08:00 am and anytime Saturday or Sunday because it’s quiet. There’s a Pixar silver desk lamp, my laptop and my study guides. Here everything I want seems possible in this space. As long as I’m there I feel unstoppable.

  6. I find I do by best work at night by the lapa or when I actually find a scenic spot where there is no noise and nature surround me,in Lesotho it was malealea up in Jozi however I like garden…no distraction’s and mostly with a note pad for jotting thought’s.

    But really great article Andrew

  7. Very good article Andrew! Well written, thought-provoking, and it all makes good sense too!!
    I’m trying to decide where my space is… the beach does it for me, where I just stand, sit or walk and allow the sound of the waves to wash over me… it takes all my cares and worries and troubles away, even if only for a few moments… pity I live in Joburg… I only get to the sea once or twice a year, going to have to try the trail running thing more regularly!

  8. Dumisane Matyela on

    This article explains why I am a mess at the moment. I dont have my space at all. I dont even remember when last did I have it. It used to be my study table which is stolen together with its chair. I loved that corner I placed them, bliss.

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