scheduling—but not forcing—creativity

Based on a Twitter conversation I found myself thinking about how to effectively block my time and then use that time productively/creatively without having to feel the pressure of trying to force a creative spark or insight.

I’m REALLY interested in cracking open a solution to non-coercive productivity and creativity. I believe it’s possible to align work with flow. To accomplish, without forcing. Allowing inspiration to take stage, and running with it.

It starts with time blocking

I’ve started with the bare minimum of simply blocking that time.

Sometimes I have an intention but most of the time my body and mind just follow what calls them.

Sometimes I “get stuff done” and other times I just wander.

Whatever happens, I learn.

To me, that’s productive.

Passive problem solving

Typically I have The Problem on my mind. Whatever I’m working on in this moment in time is carried with me throughout the day, and frequently occupies a decent portion of my brain’s attention, even if it’s not front and center.

When I allot myself time and space to be free from focusing intensely on The Problem, I naturally gravitate towards exploring the problem and creating whatever I feel inspired to create in that moment.

Sometimes it’s relevant to The Problem and other times it’s something else entirely. Either way I’m happy because I end up with some creative output that I can use somewhere in my web of thinking, digital garden, or somewhere else.

While I fully believewriting is thinking, it is certainly not the only way to think. Yes, Ideas improve by writing about them not by thinking about them, which means it’s important to capture the output of your thoughts in some way they can be remembered in the future.

But problems can also be solved by thinking—especially when you’re stepping away from The Problem and letting your mind relax and cognitive load decrease.

It’s almost as if the time away from focusing on The Problem is effective because I’ve spent so much time focusing on The Problem.

Ironically, after writing this, one of my favorite people to learn from, Anne-Laure Le Cunff, posted a video about exactly this: the difference between focused thinking and diffused thinking, i.e. why good ideas happen in the shower.

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