Release your creativity: count some clouds, dream

creativity Apr 13, 2020

Do you sometimes feel guilty about day-dreaming? You know how it happens: you are sitting at your work station, but you are looking out the window and your mind is on a beach, or a mountain top, or simply counting clouds.

Suddenly a bossy little voice rises from a dark corner of your brain and starts telling you to get busy again.

Don’t feel guilty. Enjoy those moments. Creativity and inspiration happen in those moments when we take a break from being busy.

A whole lot of research shows that we solve problems, or think of an opening line for a speech, or get inspired to create a new product when we are doing something else - driving, hiking, having a spa, watching a ball game.

That’s why some of the most innovative companies in the world give employees time to day-dream. Google encourages key staff to spend a fifth of their day letting their minds wander. The company that makes GoreTex clothing builds in ‘dabble time’.

A blank computer screen or empty page can be a real dis-incentive to creativity. It’s as if the cursor is laughing at you: “Bet you can’t have a smart idea in the next ten minutes.”

Next time you are stuck for an idea, take a break. Look out of the window. Count the clouds. Go for a walk or a drive. Give your brain a break from busyness. Read a poem. Rake some leaves.

Vincent Van Gogh once said: “I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” And Albert Einstein said: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.”

So don’t feel guilty taking a break from being busy. Dare to (day)dream.