Sometimes it happens, you’re working on a project and you just run out of ideas; your creative juices just dry up. Well this happened to me this week; for this blog. Normally I wake up on Monday mornings and the idea for that week’s blog just comes to me. This week nothing came to me. Today is Tuesday and again nothing came to me; so I decided to do what I always do when this happens to me during a project.
I just do something; it doesn’t matter what it is really. I pick up a pen and start to draw or start to write, often totally unrelated to what I’m working on. But more often than not, my subconscious mind will have a light bulb moment during this “down time”. You see the mind is an interesting and complex system and understanding how the mind creates ideas is an interesting subject. There are a couple of important ingredients to having an idea:
– The brain needs dopamine. Dopamine is released when we are doing things like exercise, listening to music, taking a warm shower.
– Relaxed state of mind. When your mind is relaxed, your thoughts will be more inward focussed. Today this is called “mindfulness”. It really works!
– Distraction. This is the kicker for me. By distracting our mind it gives our conscious a break and lets the real work begin in the background. Think of your mind as a factory. If the owner of the factory refused to hire anyone else and tried to do all of the work themselves; selling, buying materials, planning production, running the equipment, packaging and distribution the business would crumble. This is because one person cannot do all of that work physically or mentally. It’s no different in your mind – your subconscious is your team around you. Let it get to work and stop micro-managing!
So back to today’s blog, I started with nothing to say but have already written half a page; that’s the power of the subconscious!
But seriously, do not underestimate the importance and the value of doing “nothing”. It’s only nothing if that’s what comes out of it; from my experience this very rarely happens, if ever. So, the next time you’re stuck on a project, put on some music, get into some exercise or any type of distraction and let your inner team get to work.