When we think about creativity, we often think about flow. The last thing we want to do when we are in the midst of creating something is to snap out of it and break the flow. Or so we think.
In this issue, we experiment with breaks and breakages. At first, they might seem like obstacles that will slow us down. In reality, each of them is an opportunity.
Break a Routine
It is easy, as well as practical, to create routines in our creative process. If we have a favorite location for writing, a time we prefer drawing, or the perfect team for brainstorming, our natural tendency is to stick with them. We prefer the methods, practices, and habits that work; for the most part, it makes perfect sense.
But creativity is all about experimentation; often, trying something new, even if it is not optimal, will open the door to new discoveries and opportunities.
Consider your routines: the parts of your process you are doing on auto-pilot without even being aware. Every once in a while, break one such aspect intentfully. Try doing things differently just for the sake of breaking the routine. Notice what happens and what could not have happened by doing more of the same.
Break a Paradigm
We all operate with some assumptions in mind. We are aware of some of them, but many assumptions are hidden, and we rely on them unconsciously. We often confuse assumptions with facts, so we don’t try to challenge them.
Consider a challenge you are facing and write down the underlying assumptions. Think of the aspects you consider to be set in stone. Even the things you believe you cannot control. Now, break some of them. Ask yourself, “What if?” What could you do if this assumption is incorrect or more flexible than you initially considered?
Some assumptions are just false constraints. You will be able to break them for real. But even if you can’t eventually ignore or change the assumption, thinking about breaking the paradigm you are working under will open your mind to new and surprising opportunities.
Take a Break
Breaks are essential to more than just our physical health. When we take a break, we recharge our mind and allow it to collect new raw materials for our creative pantry.
When we take a break, our subconscious continues to process the challenges or creative projects we work on. We allow our mind to create new connections and fusions that are just not possible when we are immersed in our work.
Take a break at the most unexpected time, even when you are at the peak of your work. Don’t wait until you are exhausted. Recharging should not be done in crisis mode. It should be part of your creative routine.