“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~ Rollo May
Creativity is a hazy, misty topic that enthralls me continually — how the hell does it work? Where does it come from? Why doesn’t your boss understand that sometimes that killer idea just won’t show its face between the hours of 9 to 5? What habits do creative people have that makes them so effective at creativity?
Leaving time for unconscious thought is a key factor of making effectual assessments especially when there’s a huge amount of data or a multifaceted problem to solve. Neuroscience researcher Loran Nordgren and his colleagues believe that people make their best complex decisions when they have an opportunity to review the data or the facts and then focus their attention on something else for a while.
So let’s give this unconscious thought stuff a whirl! Here are some easy ways to build unconscious thought into your day:
LET IT GO
The best way to do this is to stop and go do something else – something completely different. Go have a wander, get a drink, have a chat, do some stretches, go get a snack. Take a break! All of these get your conscious mind out of the way so that your unconscious mind can percolate on a solution.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Movement is a language the brain understands and really likes. The moment we bring attention to our movements, any movement, the brain resumes growing new connections and creating new pathways. Equally, movement without awareness does not provide the brain with any new information – it just mimics old patterns.
CHANGE IT UP
Don’t forget that creativity requires that we explore and question, discover and see even the most regular, in a new way. When we engage and participate in the moments of our daily lives, the stuff we’re working on will transform. You can encourage unconscious thought by changing your simple routines or where you do your work. Take a slightly different route to work or have a coffee break at a time you wouldn’t normally. Make little adjustments to your day, your brain will love you for it!
BLOCK IT OUT