Concentration doesn’t help creativity

Posted on Posted in practical tips

Are you one of those people who has their most creative ideas in the bath?

Or perhaps you’ll find yourself in the middle of a conversation about something else completely and the solution to a long-standing problem pops into your head.

Why is this?

The simple answer is that concentration and focus are great for some types of activity, such as adding rows of figures or editing a text. But to be creative, brains need to relax.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know this and beat their brains up trying harder and harder to be creative and not getting the result they want.

Later, when all focus and concentration have been abandoned and they’ve given up trying – zap! Into their heads, swiftly and easily, slide the brilliant ideas or the amazing solutions.

It’s not so much the bath, the shower or the particular conversation that triggers the result. It’s just the fact that you’ve given your creative brain the space it needs to work at its best. You’ve taken your highly-conscious, analytical, logical brain off the task, and given the more creative, imaginative part of the brain a chance to work at a deeper, less-conscious level of awareness.

This knowledge is used by businesses that rely on a high level of creative input from their staff. Companies like Google and Apple, for example, have created work spaces and working regimes which allow creative brains to work at their best. They offer aesthetically pleasing spaces which promote calm and relaxation. Time restrictions and requirements are reduced to a minimum.

So, if your brain seems empty of new ideas and just won’t play, or you’re eating away at the same old problem with no result, just stop trying. Take yourself off and do something that is relaxing or enjoyable—or both—and hand over responsibility to your creative, inner brain.

It will deliver the goods when you least expect it.

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