Every Monday is Tip Day! This Week: Unwind
Every Monday is Tip Day! Grab a cup of coffee and get over the Monday morning bump with tips, tools, and inspiration from Perch.
This Week: Unwind
Happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely weekend! I was blessed to spend a rare 24 hours at the lake with my family and co-workers, and although a bit physically exhausted from time on the water, I feel mentally refreshed and ready for a new week.
What struck me most about my experience at the lake this weekend was that having a retreat like that — easily accessible, always available — must be an incredible way to unwind. We were two hours from the city, free of laptops and the devices that typically keep us tied into the demands of work and everyday life. I did bring my cell phone, but I didn’t take it down to the water for fear I would damage it. I was literally tech-free and was able to focus on my daughter and my family and friends. It wasn’t a brainstorming weekend or anything remotely similar. In fact, I hardly thought about work at all.
For me, there is a clear connection between having an empty mind and creative breakthrough. Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, seems to agree. In this interview with US News, he says,
What happens to a lot of people is they get interested in solving a problem, then they hit a wall. They get stumped and give up because the problem feels impossible. But that’s your brain telling you that you need a moment of insight.
The science on this gets surprising. We live in a gung-ho society where you chug a triple espresso and roll up your sleeves when it’s time to really get something done. But that’s exactly backwards. People are more likely to have a big breakthrough when they’re relaxed. When they’re taking a shower or going for a walk. When they’re daydreaming. That’s when you turn your attention inward and maybe hear the voice that’s been there, but you just haven’t taken a moment to notice it.
When you’re mind is relaxed and empty of any attempt to solve the problem, the solution often appears. It’s not magic, and it’s not limited to a select group of creative geniuses. We can all learn to give our minds a break, let creativity do its work, and allow creative solutions to come to us. The trick is making time and space for that to happen.
I’m one of those shower people — most of my breakthroughs come to me early in the morning, before other tasks and needs begin pressing on my mind. Where do relax? What is the best way that you have found to really unwind and let creativity work?