One Habit You Can Incorporate In Your Daily Life To Enhance Your Creativity And Productivity
Have you ever wondered why our best ideas come to us in the shower, on long walks, or while daydreaming? The answer to this question lies in the concept of ‘solitude’.
To generate ideas, tune out distractions, and support self-discovery for deeper creativity, our mind needs time alone or in solitude.
You can benefit from interacting and brainstorming with others, but you will be surprised to see the results when you shut the outside world, whilst you insanely focus on your craft.
If you are distracted by too many things, it pays to disconnect. Remove distractions. Turn off notifications. Or better still, turn off your phone or mobile devices and leverage silence to think or create. In other words, block out the external world and retreat inwards. Stay an hour late, or reach our office one hour early, before your office starts buzzing.
These are not generalizations. There is science behind them.
One research reveals that teens are less self-conscious when alone. Neuroscience backs the idea that solitude can be beneficial as well. In one study, participants who alternated between brainstorming with a group and brainstorming alone had a greater output than those who only brainstormed in the group. Another study found that two hours of silence per day stimulated the growth of new cells in the hippocampi of mice.
One research study found that people who work in closed offices are more productive than those in an open floor plan. While it’s important to encourage collaboration and teamwork in the office, it might be good for productivity to offer quiet spaces where employees can work uninterrupted.
It is interesting to note that some of the most brilliant, creative minds we have ever known have made their discoveries during their solitude.
When Bill Gates was the CEO of Microsoft, he diligently went on an annual reading retreat. He would isolate himself with a week's worth of reading materials. He came up with many new strategic imperatives during these retreats.
In physics, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and James Clerk Maxwell, three of the greatest creative contributors, worked almost entirely alone.
Similarly, former President Barack Obama managed to survive the White House by shutting himself away in his "cave," a room dedicated to deep thought.
The spark of creativity only appears in solitude and stillness, not in a crowded conference room. Research has proved that when the brain is not distracted by noise or goal-oriented tasks, it processes things and integrates internal and external information.
According to Susan Cain, author of 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking', brainstorming groups generate fewer ideas than a similar number of individuals working alone. Companies will have more enriching and result-oriented meetings if every participant spends a few minutes alone to reflect upon the agenda and their ideas before the meeting.
All in all, if you are working on a startup idea, brainstorming for a new project, or have an important project to deliver in college, do so in solitude. It will not only boost your creativity but also your productivity, self-awareness, and self-confidence.