Distraction can stimulate innovative thinking, even more so than deliberately trying to be creative.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin have used distraction to spur more creative thinking.
Bruce Daisley, a former Twitter executive who now writes about the science of work, recommends that employees carve out time to let their mind wander. All it takes is a quick walk — or shower.
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Twitter was conceived at a daylong brainstorming session. Apple’s late cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs deliberately procrastinated when he needed to think creatively. The screenwriter behind “The Social Network” reportedly comes up with his best ideas in the shower.
The common theme here: Allowing yourself to be distracted can spur creative thinking.
In today’s economy, creativity and innovation are a job candidate’s competitive edge — even more so than specific technical skills. Which means it’s more important than ever to carve out time to let your mind wander, and to let those novel ideas surface.
Bruce Daisley, a former Twitter executive who now writes about the science of work, said the best way to cultivate innovative thinking is not to work so hard at it.
“When you look at people who are creative, inventive, original, they often don’t spend their time trying to be productive all the time,” Daisley told Business Insider.
Sometimes a quick walk is all it takes.
It’s not so hard to incorporate distraction into your own workday
Daisley was Twitter’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa before stepping down in January. Now he’s the host of the podcast “Eat Sleep Work Repeat” and the author of a book by the same name.
Based on his research, Daisley said there are some simple ways to increase your own creativity at work. And you don’t always need permission from your boss.
Consider a survey from The O.C. Tanner Institute, an HR research firm. Of the 3,500 employees surveyed, from companies across the globe, the majority agreed that innovation is everyone’s responsibility, but they lack the time and support from management to think about or execute new ideas.
Take a tip from Jobs instead. The former Apple CEO relied on so-called procrastination, and taking breaks from his work, to generate his best product ideas, like the iPod.
“The time Steve Jobs was putting things off and noodling on possibilities was time well spent in letting more divergent ideas come to the table,” Wharton professor Adam Grant previously told Business Insider. That’s in contrast to “diving right in with the most conventional, the most obvious, the most familiar.”
Award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who wrote the 2010 film “The Social Network,” on the origins of Facebook, is a prime example of the benefits of mind-wandering. According to Men’s Health, Sorkin takes up to six showers a day to overcome writer’s block. Sorkin isn’t alone: Studies show that at least 72% of people get their best ideas in the shower, Business Insider’s Jacquelyn Smith …read more
Source:: Business Insider