Retreat was central to the success of Carl Jung, when in the early 20th Century he changed the way the world thinks about psychology. He built a two-story hideaway in the Swiss countryside, and escaped his hectic schedule in Zurich to focus on the development of the school of thought we now call ‘analytical psychology’.
Some of Microsoft's biggest pivots and innovations have come out of Bill Gates's infamous 'Think Weeks'. These twice-a-year retreats in a remote cabin somewhere in the Pacific Northwest have garnered big ideas – from Internet Explorer to the Tablet PC. Gates uses the time to disconnect, read, and write down his ideas.
When trying to finish The Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling struggled to find creative headspace. So, she checked into a hotel suite close to Edinburgh Castle. Here, she was able to concentrate, focus, and ultimately write the wildly successful conclusion to the Harry Potter series.