Being constantly busy destroys your creativity

Being constantly busy destroys your creativity

In our society, always being busy is practically synonymous with importance. Many even assume how busy they are, how full their agenda is, and that they don't have a minute of free time. But being constantly busy isn't good. In fact, it is a very bad habit! Even if they tried to sell us the opposite, telling us that time is money and that we shouldn't "waste it".

The ideal for our mind would be to balance linear thinking, which requires a great ability to concentrate, with creative thinking that arises from inactivity. Being able to change approach, daydream and relax without doing anything but rest is a vital skill that is seriously threatened and is virtually in danger of extinction due to the unbearable hustle and bustle we submit to every day.

The daily noise that saturates us

The overload we are subjected to on a daily basis is simply unheard of. We consume five times more information today than we did 25 years ago. Outside of work, we process around 100.000 words a day - an overwhelming amount.

The problem is that our brains can't process that much information, so it ends up turning into noise. We read news but don't memorize it, simply because we move too quickly from one content to another.

This excessive consumption makes us waste time without adding value, as well as depleting our mental energy. To make matters worse, constantly keeping ourselves busy, as if we are afraid of being alone with ourselves, deeply undermines our creativity.

Being able to disconnect is essential for creativity

To understand the profound impact of being continually busy, we need to understand that linear thinking is the result of the central executive network, which requires all of our brain's resources of concentration. However, creative thinking is largely the result of the default neural network, the same one that is activated when we listen to music or are inactive.

Creativity is linked to our ability to daydream, which stimulates the free flow and association of ideas, creating links between concepts and neural modalities that otherwise could not be established. When we let our mind wander aimlessly, we discover amazing things, things that are beyond our reach when we are busy with a task.

To understand this better, we can imagine that linear thinking is like a tunnel, in which we have to focus on what we have in front of us, trying to reach a goal. This kind of thinking is useful and important, but it prevents us from appreciating the details that surround us. Creative thinking, on the other hand, does not pursue a set goal, but jumps and wanders, letting itself be captured by the details, as when we walk in a natural environment.

It is no coincidence that many of the brightest minds in history were aware of the need to disconnect and made some of their great discoveries while enjoying the utmost tranquility. Nikola Tesla sensed the rotation of magnetic fields as he took a leisurely stroll through the streets of Budapest and Albert Einstein loved to relax by listening to Mozart as he rested from his intense work sessions.

To enter this mode, we have to press the reset button, which means we have some free time during our day to lie down doing nothing, meditate or relax by listening to instrumental music. It is an impossible mission when every free moment we have, whether at work or at home, we use it to complete that task we have left unfinished or to control the smartphone.

Addicted to constant stimulation

Little by little, the attentional system of our brain gets used to receiving constant stimulation, to the point that we become addicted to this continuous flow of information and when this is interrupted, we experience a real withdrawal syndrome, we feel restless and irritable. We become addicted to stimuli and activities.

This is very dangerous for our quality of life because it not only takes away our creativity, but also our ability to relax, making sure that we are continuously on "standby". In the long run, this constant connection, the inability to relax and simply enjoy the "dolce far niente", ends up damaging us cognitively, emotionally and physically.

Journalist Michael Harris wrote of the importance of relaxing and even getting bored in the age of cognitive overload: “Maybe we should include scarcity in our communications, interactions and the things we consume. Otherwise, our lives will turn into an uninterrupted Morse code transmission: a noisy swarm covering the precious underlying data. "

Therefore, it is convenient to reconsider our daily life trying to get out of this state of frenetic superficiality, freeing ourselves from addiction to stimuli and ensuring free time in which to dedicate ourselves to doing nothing.

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