Making Room for Creativity

Are you giving yourself time away from your work problems so that you can solve them more creatively? Yes, you need to stop thinking about them in order to actually get anything creative to happen.

It’s true. And that means you need to build downtime into your work day. Unfortunately, that’s harder and harder to come by because of all the devices we carry around and the availability of wireless hotspots that make us feel like we need to be connected. That’s the message in this article I highly recommend called What Happened To Downtime? The Extinction Of Deep Thinking And Sacred Space.

I’m a prime example, right now. I often like to stare out the window on planes and get some of that problem solving done while in flight.

But today, I’m behind on a few things. So here I sit in 16F on my way to the Philanthropy Midwest conference, connected to the wireless on the plane, working through the to-do list. But I won’t be tomorrow night on the way home. I’m reserving that for staring into space and seeing what kind of bright ideas pop as a result.

How can you build more space for deep and creative thinking into your work life? Share your ideas in the comments.

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  • heather gardner-madras

    I try to take 5-15 minutes everyday for a “creative break” and write, doodle, make little paper sculptures or take a photo.  Anything that isn’t related at all to my work. If I don’t get to this by/during lunch I’ll take a 10 minute walk with my camera in the afternoon. Although I travel the same ground over and over, I always seem to find something new or different to take a picture of. It really does seem to reset the batteries when I am very busy or stressed out.

  • A doodle break would be a great way to do it. Especially if I could build it into my morning. Or midn mapping / stream of consciousness writing sessions.

  • David

    The Society
    of St. Vincent de Paul is located in downtown Chicago and I go for walks during
    lunch. Chicago is a city with a lot of character and characters and I find it
    inspirational when I walk.

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  • Emily

    This post really resonated with me. The last time I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment was when I was laying down with my seven month old trying to get him to sleep. Not at the computer. Not at my desk. Laying down with my baby. I just started working on our holiday appeal and thought back to this article. I am an artist at heart so I went and looked at some art that makes me feel passionate and then started writing the letter. So far I think it’s the most passionate thing I’ve written for our organization, because I took the time to bring in some creativity before sitting down to write. Thanks for sharing this.

    • What a great story! Thanks for sharing Emily. I often find my mind doing the same thing when cuddling with the kids and listening to the same lullaby for the billionth time!

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