Disconnect To Reconnect
You are at your most creative in the early part of the day.
You are fresh, full of ideas and clear-headed enough to create and to plan, (well that’s what should happen if you have a good night’s sleep!). Our bodies conveniently run on a natural circadian rhythm, thanks to your hypothalamus, that dictates your natural rise and fall in energy and creativity.
Yet many of us do all we can to sabotage our body’s natural rhythms by overloading our senses with digital input.
Does the following timeline sound familiar to you?
6.00am : We wake. Our body tells us when it’s good to be creative and when it’s time to rest. Waking from a good night’s sleep we are naturally READY TO CREATE…..
6.01am: Many of us sleep with our phones next to our bed and the first thing we do on waking is bombard our sensitive brains with the latest updates or notifications on our immediately locatable digital device. Add this digital addiction to our body’s natural rhythms and creativity starts to fade into obscurity. CREATIVITY DIMMED…..
8.00am: Many of us head to work or to our desks with great ideas and plans for the day. We then open our email accounts and magically, within an hour or so, our enthusiasm is dulled or side-lined by other’s queries, issues or demands. CREATVITY FADING…..
1.00pm: In the afternoon, we often become tired and the environmental influences around us (heating, office equipment, staff) start to wear down our natural enthusiasm. It is a common phenomenon after lunch that our body clocks will tell us in no uncertain terms it is time to snooze. And in some countries of course they do! CREATIVITY NIL…..
I think many of us can identify with all or part of the above pattern. And yet when we first wake every morning, our body’s biological rhythm is predisposed to creative output.
Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs are well known for being early risers and for meditating, exercising, writing or creating before most of us have even thought about that first cuppa. 21 Successful People Who Wake Up Early
When you are at your most creative you are inspired, intelligent, clear and full of productivity. It is when real change can happen, when new ideas are hatched and when great, life-changing decisions are often made.
So we have gathered the latest research, added a touch of common sense and logic, and developed a plan to see you through this second quarter of the business year with great results.
Our Top Tips For Creativity
- Leave your phone! Tell your family and close friends to use the landline in an absolute emergency. There will be no reason, therefore to check your phone.
- Stretch and take some time to be mindful of where you are and how you feel. Try journaling your intentions for the day.
- Instead of reaching for your phone, listen to music. Music is a great tool for unlocking your creativity. It helps to stimulate the part of the brain that controls motor actions, emotions and creativity. According to Don Campbell’s book The Mozart Effect, listening to Mozart can increase creativity, concentration and other cognitive functions.
- Get outside. The neuroscientist David Strayer advocates walking, hiking or running for high-level creative thinking. “You let the prefrontal cortex rest, and all of a sudden these flashes of insight come to you. It supports creativity, positive wellbeing [and] reductions in stress. There are all kinds of reasons why it’s helpful.”
- Allocate a timeframe to respond to messages and catch up on the news before or after breakfast, then get on with your day.
- If you’re in an office space or team make it clear that you are not to be distracted between 9 and 11am. Don’t look at your emails, put your phone on silent and focus on OUTPUT not INPUT.
- Be totally strict, no exceptions, unless emergencies. Everything can wait. If you are in an environment where immediate answers are often sought, narrow your timeframe or scatter 30 minutes of ‘disconnection’ throughout your morning.
- Schedule all meetings and phone calls for later in the morning or afternoon.
- Recruit the assistance of others to support your plans. Or make it a company policy.
- Go back to pen and paper. Turn your back on digital for a few hours and use those old-fashioned tools of creativity and communication.
It really is about choice. You can choose to do the same thing and expect the same results. Or you can change up your morning routine and try a different approach.
To get your morning off to an explosive start, disconnect. Leave your phone, laptop or emails and just work. Do the work you’d do if you weren’t answering questions from others. Do the work that is aligned with getting your visions and plans off the ground. Do the work that is creative and will drive your business forward. And leave the digital distractions behind so they don’t cloud your productivity, or at least learn to make digital work FOR you and not AGAINST you!