I am more creative than you cause I know how to…

As soon as Covid sent my office home I immediately needed to find a way to replace informal team communication. I decided that every Friday I would have a global team meeting that would not be status related, no about work, it would be team building. I knew there were a few team building activities we could do via video chat, and some games so the first few weeks were easy. But as the weeks wore on, I needed to be more creative. I always wanted the games to have a point, a message or to engage people in communication. There are a lot of limitations, I want it to be 30 minutes, needs to be done on a video call etc.  

Four years later, and the meeting is now every other Friday, but I keep the notion that I create a team-based activity. I often made jokes about writing the activity the night before and even a few times a few hours before the meeting. Some team members gave me kudos for being creative each time, and my reply was that creativity comes with last minute panic.  

Even though it was a joke I wondered does procrastination relates to creativity? While I was in the shower, I thought of an idea to write a post about it. The first thing I wrote was why do I get ideas like that in the shower? I often get other ideas while walking the dog in the park, working out doing something other than the activity. If I sat down and wanted to be creative, I was somehow less creative. How many times did you get that idea in the shower? 

When I write my posts, I use my old friend Google to help with my research. In this instance I was able to find a study titled “When Putting Work Off Pays Off: The Curvilinear Relationship Between Procrastination and Creativity.” This allowed me to dig into the why. When you realize there are two key things that are happening when you are in the shower thinking of a brilliant solution. 

First, you already know what the problem is. In most cases, you already thought about it, talked with others, and tried to solve it once already. Your brain has the idea in your head and is somehow working on it without you consciously thinking about it. If i asked you name a clear thought you had yesterday, not like ‘I am hungry’ but a full sentence. Of the thousand or so thoughts, unless you wrote something down most likely you do not remember much of it. The brain is working on it in the background. A study seemed to back this up titled ‘Inspired by Distraction: Mind Wandering Facilitates Creative Incubation.’ This knowing of the problem is called incubation. 

Second, you stepped away from the problem. The focus away from the problem allows your brain to think more clearly. There are some people who can be creative and think on demand, but that is more the exception and the rule. A google search brings up a study that backs this up, the title ‘Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking.’ Though it focuses on walking, the act of getting away from your problem seems to give the brain some boost.  

So go ahead, when you have something that requires creativity let it simmer, do not rush it. Let yourself think about it in the shower, in the gym, anywhere. Keep a notebook handy to write ideas down and remember you forget most of your thoughts. This way you can be more creative. I also will not go crazy, get upset when I have not created an activity and its late Thursday night. I know somewhere something is percolating and by the morning I will have the solution.  

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them. 

This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.   AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.  

1 Comment

  1. Adelash

    I have read so many posts about the blogger lovers except thhis paragraph is actually a nice post, keep it up.

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