If it isn’t already abundantly clear, creativity is pretty important to us at Brit + Co. We love that you makers, doers, crafters and all-around creative rockstars just do you. But did you know that there’s something you should — and shouldn’t — be doing to maintain that creative spark? According to a new study by the Journal of Marketing Research, your creativity might be undermined without you even knowing it.


The study looked at how adults and children responded to simple instructions given to them along with a set of LEGOs. They gave them “well-defined” tasks, which translates to explicit instructions on how to build a certain LEGO activity, and “ill-defined” tasks, which translates to using their creativity to just make something.


The study found that those who performed well-defined tasks first had diminished performances on the second (ill-defined) task. Well-defined tasks have specific goals to meet, and those that had these tasks originally continued to seek out similar tasks, which lacked creativity. In layman’s terms: We rely on the actions we’ve previously taken to solve problems.


The study also linked a lack of creativity to internet search engines, which makes total sense if you think about it. If you Google something once, you are more apt to Google the next answer you need. This has a negative effect on your creativity and ability to use it when it comes to problem solving.

We sure hope that businesses are also reading this study, because we want to be as creative as possible whenever we can (which is hard to do these days). Here’s hoping we can get out of work early this week to go offline and do, make, create and DIY like the creative #girlbosses we are.

What do you do to encourage your creativity? Tell us in the comments!

(h/t Eurekalert)