Is busyness killing creativity?

wazoku Blog

If you find yourself constantly multitasking – jumping from your phone, to your email, to social media? Turns out that you’re not the only one.


Many of us interrupt whatever we are doing to check our phones, even if we are not expecting any urgent communication or have any objective need to. Modern man seems to have embarked on a spiral of busyness. We all seem to think that if we’re not busy, surely something must be seriously wrong and feel like social pariahs. This constant activity can have serious consequences in personal and work life, as constantly checking your phone when you’re with other people is not only a bit rude, but also can make you stressed.

On the outside it might feel that we are being very productive as you are doing a handful of things all at the same time. The reality is, you’re not. You are doing one thing while already thinking of the next one and, as a result, your attention isn’t focused on any of them. How can you go about changing this? For starters, get rid of all the noise. Not all emails are urgent and some you don’t even really need, so unsubscribe from all of those useless mailing lists. Then, you will need to learn to spend some time without distractions. Sounds boring, right?

As noted in the paper “Doing Nothing and Nothing to Do: The Hidden Value of Empty Time and Boredom”, boredom can actually lead to creativity and spark the imagination. According to a recent study by psychologists at the universities of Virginia and Harvard found that “when left to sit by themselves for fifteen minutes with no ‘distractions’ apart from a machine to deliver electric shocks a massive two thirds of men and a quarter of women chose the electricity over unadulterated solitude.” This doesn’t bode well for creativity, does it? We need to allow ourselves more down time and learn how to disconnect every now and then, for creativity’s sake!

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