When it comes to doing a creative work, it is very important to not only look for ways to let our creativity thrive but to also be mindful of not letting ourselves to get busy. Being busy can sneak up and strangle our ability to come up with our best ideas. Constantly working or being busy may be blocking your creativity.
Periods of creative blockage can be frustrating, but you don’t have to sit around and wait for the muses to strike you with inspiration again. Simply being aware of what might be hindering your creativity can help you move past any blockages. Creative ideas come to us by way of daydreams and moments of relaxation, and that’s backed by research. If you work nonstop, you may be blocking your creativity.
In Emma Seppala’s book, ‘The Happiness Track’, she introduced the research by University of California Santa Barbara, which found out that people are more creative after letting their mind wander. Among the research, the paper cited is a 2012 report in the journal for the Association for Psychological Science, which found that engaging in an undemanding activity that encouraged mind-wandering led to better performance on the ‘Unusual Uses Task,’ a test of creative thinking.
In addition to exclaiming periods of relaxation (like taking a walk, listening to music) into your busy week, Seppälä points to research that suggests creativity could benefit from diversifying your experiences (like traveling) and boosting your positivity by allowing for some play time or you can simply organize your day with relaxation in mind. Try infusing some simple tasks into your focused work. Research says people perform better at a challenging task when they precede it with something easy.
A wandering mind might help your brain to restructure the way you look at a problem, leading to a boost in creativity rather than blocking your creativity.
Even if you’re not lucky enough to have the option of flexible working hours, there are ways to optimize your routine for creativity. How do you make time for creative pursuits? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.