Remember the old days when you had to wait at a bus stop or hang out in the backseat on a long drive and all there was to do was daydream? Sure, sometimes you got super bored, but we’re betting you’ve also had some crazy and creative thoughts pop into that brain of yours when you let it wander. Flash forward to 2015, where whenever we have a moment to spare, our instinct is to whip out a smartphone. Why do nothing when you could be Facebooking, Snapchatting or maybe even Meerkatting (it’s a thing, we promise)? Well, for one, all that teching-out could be killing your creativity.
A story recently published on Elite Daily makes a pretty strong case for taking time out to do that thing all your teachers always told you not to. The article tells us, “the amount of information we encounter each day is equivalent to around 174 newspapers. This means we receive fives times more information per day than we did in 1986.” Yikes. With all that constant consumption it’s no wonder we’re coming up empty in regards to innovative ideas. Your brain is on overload all the time, and like any muscle, it needs a break every now and again.
“Aha moments don’t come from a directed and particular focus on a task, but by letting your mind wander and open up to other possibilities,” Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, an adjunct associate professor of psychology at New York University, tells CNN. He goes on to say, “[Daydreaming] is where things like problem solving, creativity, goal-driven thought, future planning, seeing the perspective of another person, and so on – find space to exist.”
If you’re a little put off by the idea of sitting on the couch and staring off into space, we don’t blame you. Some of us just aren’t built for that. But if you’re up for trying to incorporate a little more daydreaming in your daily life, here are a few ways to promote it.
1. Put Down the Tech. Duh. Whether you’re standing on the corner waiting for the bus or driving on your commute home, make a real effort to leave your phone in your pocket and just take in your surroundings. To put it in a more yogi kind of way, “be in the moment.” Maybe you’ll see a cool girl wearing an outfit that’ll spark an idea, or a billboard that will help solve that problem you’ve been trying to figure out. The possibilities are endless.
2. Take a walk. If ever you’re feeling drained at work, try leaving the office and taking a 10-minute walk. Grab a cup of coffee or soak up some sun in a nearby park. Going back to number one here, you’ll get better results if leave your phone back at your desk.
3. Doodle. If you’re someone who always need to be doing something, grab a pen and paper and get doodling. It’s long been believed that doodling can work wonders on your brain. In an article all about the benefits of the activity, Fast Company explains, “when the mind starts to engage with visual language, you get neurological access that you don’t have when you’re in a linguistic mode.” In layman’s terms, you’re temporarily switching over to a different side of your brain. If you need a little inspiration on what to doodle, check out British artist Moose Allain’s technique.
And hey, after you’ve done all these things and that million dollar business idea finally pops into your mind, don’t forget to give us a shout-out ;)
How do you stay creative on the daily? Share with us in the comments below.