Ideas & Insights
My perspective on creativity, innovation and getting stuff done
What do you do when you get stuck in a “thinking rut” or have a deadline looming close ahead with the project far behind? Even if we know we need a break, most people stay seated at their desks. They feel they have to stick with it to get it done. So, some gnaw the tips of the pencils and pens. Others check their emails for the fifteenth time, answering trivial messages, just to feel like they’re making progress. It’s all basically time wasting in the hope that when we return to the job at hand, things will have improved.
Interestingly, lots of research flies in the face of this methodology. It appears that moving, yes, physically getting up and moving around, may be one of the best things to do in such circumstances. When we take a moment to think this through, it begins to make sense. After all, as Michelle L. Marigliano and Michele J. Russo stated in their paper, “Foster Preschoolers’ Critical Thinking and Problem Solving through Movement”, one of the techniques used to build critical thinking and problem solving in preschoolers is creative movement.
Movement causes several important positive effects. For one, it increases blood flow to the brain, “waking it up” so we can think more effectively. For another, it energizes our bodies, putting us in a better frame of mind for working.
The next time you feel some movement would help, why not try one of these easy-to-do options.
For those whose bosses frown on them leaving their cubicle or office too often, chair yoga is a great option. You can find visual instructions on YouTube, or written information here.
Two for the Time of One
In his book, “Play”, Dr. Stuart Brown suggests taking a mood-improving walk. If you take a walk to the water cooler for a refreshing drink, not only are you moving, but you are also hydrating. Did you know that when the brain doesn’t have enough water it works less efficiently? Were you aware that the majority of people don’t have enough water in their bodies?
Make Time to Smell the Roses
In his book, “Presentation Zen”, Garr Reynolds gives advice on how to improve creativity. Applying his ideas here could look like the following: Get out of the building. Focus on whatever nature is at hand in order to calm your mind and see the big picture.
It took me some effort to give myself permission to get up and move around. Now that I have gotten into the habit, I find it easier to be creative, get work done and enjoy my day. I encourage you to allow yourself the freedom to move during work time.