Do you remember when you were a kid sitting at home and you would tell your mom or dad that you were bored? Me, too. In my house, that would lead to me being given something tedious to clean. I quickly learned to find something to do to keep myself occupied. Often, that was reading, heading outside to play or making something. In other words, productive in some way.
Nowadays, I’m never bored. Never. I even try to multi task and listen to podcasts while I’m doing chores or commuting, so that I can even be learning when I’m doing other lower value tasks. Lately, I’ve been thinking that while I’ve benefited a lot from this practice, I might actually be hurting myself due to the extreme I’ve taken this.
I rarely have anytime where I do something without any mental focus. When I do have those times, such as when I’m taking a shower or when I forget my phone, then I notice the difference. My mind wanders and makes huge leaps from one thought to another and I’m far more creative than during the more structured time that makes up the vast majority of my day. While I am still creative when I am working on something, I find that I have less creative ideas springing to my mind from seemingly out of the aether. Those are the times when I have had my most transformative ideas and losing those is a problem.
I need to recapture more of that more creative time and I don’t think longer showers are the way to go. I have decided that I am going to pare down my podcasts, cut down on the news stories I read and turn my mind loose for more of the day. It will be the opposite of meditation. Instead of relentlessly focusing on nothing, I’ll let my mind drift aimlessly through everything. Maybe I’ll do some focused meditation afterward, to see what that does for me. I’ve been missing the meditation time I used to practice as well. Hopefully, the combination of the two will help to spark the creativity I need to make more innovative projects now and into the future.