Even though it seems counterintuitive to think about unplugging and enjoying your hobbies while building a business, going to school, or dealing with a busy fall calendar, you’ll discover that allowing your brain to relax and enjoy something will spur your creativity.
Have you ever had one of those moments where no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember the title of a book or who starred in a particular movie? I have them all the time. But then, when you stop thinking about it and focus on something else, you have an a-ha moment, and the name pops into your head!
Like me, I’m sure you’ve heard stories of people who are inspired while in the shower (I often have great ideas in the shower!) and then scramble to write down that brilliant idea while they’re soaking wet?
It’s a little easier now, as you can yell at your phone and ask it to take a note. But that doesn’t always work out so well if your phone intentionally misunderstands you as mine does.
Jerry Seinfeld added a scene to his famous television show about writing the funniest joke ever while dreaming. He woke up and wrote it down in the middle of the night, but then he couldn’t read his handwriting in the morning.
We all have moments of inspiration. But, unfortunately, those moments often slip by before we can act on them.
Give Your Brain a Break
In our technological world, we deal with instant and constant news and access to electronics. Technology fatigue is a real thing. You might lose steam mid-afternoon, especially if you’re working hard to meet a deadline. Maybe you feel anxiety when a news story shows up on your feed.
Your body and your brain can only handle so much before they go into shut down mode. Experts believe that “employees spend more than half their workdays receiving and managing information than using it to do their jobs.”
If you’re not working as efficiently later in the day or it’s harder to concentrate on tasks, pay attention. Your brain is telling you it needs a break, similar to rebooting your computer.
Find Joy and Embrace the Simple
So how do we reboot? First, we need to get back to basics and find joy in our everyday life.
Start by unplugging. Don’t wince! Even if you only take a technology break a few hours a week, you’ll be amazed at the difference. Turn off your phone, computer, tablet, etc., so you’re more present in each moment.
Here are a few ways to embrace the simple:
- Eat dinner with your family or friends instead of in front of the television or computer.
- Ask your loved ones about their day. Keep in touch with their lives.
- Take time to play board games or read bedtime stories. Enjoy those small moments of companionship.
- Set aside time to really connect with your spouse or partner. Even if you have to schedule it in.
- If you live alone, set aside fun time away from the computer. Take a walk, read a book or magazine, or bake a loaf of bread!
Think about the hobbies you used to enjoy before marriage/kids/business/school. Now is the time to add at least one of those things back into your life.
Join a gym or a walking or running club. Check into volunteering at your favorite charity. Join or start a book club. Learn how to meditate. Take up a new sport. Discover new hiking trails. Find a group to join for your favorite activity. My favorite is writing in a journal or working on a writing project.
Once you find something fun to add to your life, take note of how you feel. Did you de-stress? Do you feel more relaxed? Did you sleep better at night? Maybe you had inspiring thoughts the next day? You may be surprised by the results!