Don’t Let Busyness Kill Your Creativity

To be creative is to be human. But, in order to be creative, we need to be able to daydream, to be idle, to experience boredom. And that’s becoming more or more challenging every day.

The majority of Americans focus intensely on a tight schedule of work, errands and chores all day, only to go home and distract their weary minds with digital entertainment. We crave distraction after distraction as a result of this lifestyle. And when we jam our daily schedules like this, it leaves little space for blissful daydreams. As a result, creativity withers and dies.

Productive creativity lives in the space between intense focus and freeform idleness. Too much of one and not enough of the other makes for infertile creative ground.

What does this mean for you? It means that it is important to find a little nook of time in your day to disengage, meditate or just stare up at the clouds. But there is an enemy who stands in the way of our disengagement—technology. We are drawn to a screen’s blue light like attention-deficit moths. Have you ever noticed that, during a free moment, your first instinct is to grab your phone or tablet? The instinct is so automatic, it is almost subconscious. With the advent of digital handheld technology, the challenge is to not only make room in your busy schedule for some idle time, but to also resist the urge to succumb to easy entertainment.

In fact, by regularly indulging in distractions—by avoiding boredom—there is the possibility that we are rewiring our brains to reduce our capacity to focus for long bouts of time without distraction. Our attention spans are withering away because we are not allowing our imaginations to breathe. In the modern hustle and bustle, we are less and less capable of free flowing thought because, as choreographer Twyla Tharp famously agrees, creativity is a habit. And habits need to be practiced.

What’s the easiest way to practice some free-flowing thinking time? Just go for a long walk. It’s as easy as that. Be sure to ditch the headphones/electronic devices (or at least power them down) and let your mind wander unfettered. Brilliant minds like Tesla, Einstein, Mahler, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Steve Jobs all used walking as a way to clear their minds, unleash their imaginations and allow for problem-solving. Plus, walking is a healing exercise. We all need to be getting out and walking more.

Other options include mediation and yoga. In fact, the purpose of yoga is not flexibility or to build a fantastic rear end. It is to calm the fluctuations of the mind. Find something that allows your mind to slip out of gear and roam free. Whether it is walking, yoga, meditation, long baths, long car rides or something else, our brains are craving some real, unstimulated down time.

Is watching another cat video on YouTube really worth sacrificing the under-flexed muscles of your wonderful imagination? Make space and time for yourself everyday to be creative; to have free flowing thoughts; to quiet the whirlpool of overthinking. Allow yourself to simply be human.

Related:
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How to Become More Courageous

46 comments

LF F
LF F18 days ago

I got busier w time as my career grew. Now I seldom do my fun crafts. But such is life planning for a future and retirement it seems

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Ann M
Ann M29 days ago

Thanks.

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Carl R
Carl Rabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vagaabout a month ago

thx

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Margie F
Margie FOURIEabout a month ago

Thank you

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iloshechka A
iloshechka Aabout a month ago

thanks

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Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapaabout a month ago

Thank you

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Carl R
Carl Rabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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Janine F
Janine Fabout a month ago

thanks

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Leo C
Leo Custerabout a month ago

Thank you for posting!

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