Creativity tip – Take a break

When we are looking for new ideas, inspiration, a solution, we tend to look for it, hard. Search for it, in every corner.

We brainstorm, ask our colleagues for ideas, search the internet.

Our mind is occupied by ‘the problem’ non stop.

And the real problem may just be in that ‘non stop’ way of trying to do things.

When we do something non stop, we ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’.

We are so immersed in the details of the problem, that we cannot see the bigger picture anymore.

It’s like proof reading a text you’ve written yourself again and again. You end up not noticing the mistakes anymore.

What we need to do, more often than not is:


  1. Step back and forget the problem: put your pen and paper down, go make some tea…
  2. Do something completely different: go grocery shopping, listen to Mozart…
  3. Do something opposite of your problem: if your problem is generating many ideas, do something that creates no ideas (meditate, take a nap…)
  4. Do something active and sporty: run, sing, do yoga, garden…
  5. Change your point of view: watch a black and white movie, go to a museum, do community work…
  6. Do something silly: finger paint with your kids, car-dance, play a funny prank on someone…
  7. Do nothing: sleep on it, give it incubation time, take the pressure off…

After the break, you can either come back to the problem refreshed or just let is simmer on a back burner and trust your brain or subconscious to point something at you, to make an unusual connection.

It’s Sunday, go take a nap :-) and tell me what creative ideas you have when you wake up.

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2 Responses to Creativity tip – Take a break

  1. Tim says:

    Hi Mimi:

    Good advice…many times when I need a good idea or I've hit a dead end, a good night's sleep is all I need. Getting away from the problem can add some perspective. I enjoyed this post.

  2. MindFul MiMi says:

    This week I was busy as hell and we had a more fun and creative session scheduled which I wanted to cancel because I really didn't have the time for it. I went anyway and the benefit of this 'break' was immense!
    I call a good night's sleep 'incubation' and often I have light bulb moments the next day.
    Glad you liked it.


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