Is how you use your time in business draining your creativity?

And what to do about it!

Sometimes, especially now in this time of COVID-19 restrictions, furloughed staff and home-schooling, it can be easy to get stuck spending our time working IN our business and not ON our business.

I threw an online craft party for some clients recently and they were all amazed and delighted that taking those 2 hours out to create something playful and fun made such a difference to their mindset.

We can get stuck using the logical, left side of our brain, missing out on all the benefits of the creative, right side. It reminded me of a fascinating book I read a few years ago, “Too Fast To Think” by Chris Lewis.

Not being able to take time out of working in our business but being ‘always on’ is having a severe impact on our lives and businesses and our brains, according to Lewis. His book looks at the impact of our fast paced lives and the seemingly relentless torrent of social media, streaming videos and emails.

While in theory, this pandemic has forced us to slow down (and people are certainly taking time to walk more and make more cakes!) we’re still allowing ourselves to be bombarded with information from all directions.

In his book, Lewis paints a bleak picture of the impact of these relentlessly fast paced times on our brains and therefore our health, our relationships, our culture, our economies.

In my coaching practice, I’m keen to encourage the importance of our “right brain” for our personal development and our business growth – the part of our brain traditionally associated with creativity, long term memory, great new ideas.

Using research papers, and case studies, which are sometimes contradictory, Lewis looks at differences in theories relating to the left and right sides of our brain. Very simply put, the right brain is the part of our brain associated with creativity while the left brain is logical and rational. Research has shown that our brains are adapting to accommodate the information overloaded times in which we live. But this is at the expense of its ability to conceptualise and think creatively – our right brains (our capacity for creativity) may be shrinking!

If we are to flourish, grow as individuals and as business owners we need creativity in order to innovate, to find new ways of doing things in the market place, to develop, market and sell new products and services. Our best ideas are often generated when we are free to think in an uninterrupted environment completely separate to our workplace. How do we find the time or develop the disciplines to do that though?

Lewis’ book includes numerous interviews with business people, psychologists and artists which describe how they have come to understand the importance of engaging right brain thinking and deliberately with purpose ensure they set time aside to create the right circumstances for right brained thinking.

As a result of his studies, Lewis teaches us how to retrain our brains to allow creative ideas to emerge before they are shut down by constant interruption and distraction. He’s put together a system based on what he’s found to be the eight creative traits to look for in creative success. He calls this QED3RPT which stands for Quiet, Engage, Dream, Release (sleep), Relax, Repeat, Play, Teach. His final chapter on how leaders apply creativity looks at how the creative traits are used by successful people from all walks of life and how much fun they seem to be having.

The message is clear: if we want to have fun and success in our businesses and release more of that potential that is every human’s birthright, we have to set time aside every day to turn away from the relentless drags on our energy and replenish ourselves.  Work on our business and not always in our business. Most importantly work on ourselves and have fun!

You can get in touch with me here.