Fostering creativity by practicing rest
In 2020, 4.4 million new companies started worldwide. The world is witnessing more creativity and innovation than ever before. However, with the rise in entrepreneurship, we are becoming a generation that has rebranded busy and made it cool. Burnt-out individuals now view themselves as "work martyrs" for using less vacation time and refusing to rest. With the push for entrepreneurs to become more innovative in a busy culture, there is a desperate need for creative rest.
Why do we need to cultivate our creativity?
Creativity is not a forced ability to think outside the box; it is a vital component of our well-being. Our creativity keeps us engaged in our work; it allows us to solve complex problems and come up with innovative solutions.
What is creative rest?
Simply put, our ability to always stay busy hurts our creativity. But when we feel safe to rest, instead of powering through, the quality of our work increases. Creativity is one of the essential elements of entrepreneurship, and we must protect it by implementing rest.
How do we practice creative rest?
- Take a "non-productive" break
A study from the University of York found over 40% of our creative ideas come during breaks when our minds are free to wander. For a break to have a regenerative effect, you must completely disconnect from whatever you are doing. Proper creative rest is about taking an intentional break from producing or solving of any kind.
Non-productive breaks look different for everyone. It might be active like fishing, biking, or drawing. It can also look like something inactive, like napping or meditating. Pick an activity that comes naturally and doesn't require you to resolve complex issues. Take a break and rest from your ability to solve problems.
- Disconnect from technology
Creativity isn't a rare gift to be enjoyed by famous innovators. It is a natural part of human behavior. In too many of us it gets blocked by digital distraction. Because of technology, we live in a hyper-connected society. We always keep our eyes occupied; we never want to be bored. We do this by swiping, scrolling, and watching various sizes of countless screens. However, as noted by NPR, research, boredom fosters creativity. Although scrolling through our phone might disguise itself as a "break," it does not produce proper rest. Do not let the technology that keeps your mind busy, disguise itself as rest. If rest makes us bored, it is not a sign of laziness, it promotes our creativity.
In summary, the whole process of entrepreneurship is ingrained in the creation and exploration of new ideas. If we want to cultivate our creativity, we must rest amid a busy culture. Protect your creativity, and allow yourself to rest from constant problem solving and digital distraction. I believe we will find ourselves more engaged and creative entrepreneurs by taking small steps towards this kind of rest.