In a world where multitasking is king (or queen), slowing down to get creative does seem a bit odd.
We read enough about how to organize ourselves, how to make sure we carry out all we set out to do, how to keep up and stay ahead. But what if our frenetic activity, our attempts to be on top of things, our desperate need to be seen and heard on social media to showcase our creativity is the very thing that keeps us from being creative?
There’s much to be said for mindfulness and slowing down to be creative. I’ve experienced this in my life. But it’s easy to forget and once again get caught up in the rat race.
Perhaps our need for speed comes from a fear of missing out. Ironic then, that it is exactly what causes us to miss out.
Creativity requires focus, attention, and slowing down. Here are some things we can do to slow down.
Setting aside some time every day to turn off devices and notifications is a good way to start. Try making time for a break during the day – during which you sit down and dream, go for a walk, read a book, or trying your hand at doodling. Actually, a one day a week of being ‘disconnected’ is the best.
Living in the present and not worrying about the future or regretting the past can do a lot for creativity. Learning to eat mindfully and being present to others or taking in the surroundings on a walk are all important too.
Learning to say “no” more often to things that don’t really matter, helps in slowing down. We don’t have to accept every commitment and invitation. All of us need space in our schedules to create.
Start Doing Less
Life is not a competition or a marathon. We must start being easier on ourselves. Stop comparing. Stop beating yourself up. Ditch those ‘to-do’ lists and instead make ‘These are the only things I’m going to do today’….
Learn to single-task. Take one job at a time and focus on it until completion. It takes a little time to learn, but I promise the rewards are great – you can actually be more efficient and your mind will be less harried.
If you’re having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down. For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity. It has allowed me to open up–to know that there’s life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way. Creativity exists in the present moment. You can’t find it anywhere else. – Natalie Goldberg
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Image of lunch at office via Shutterstock