Creative Solutions – Boring Tasks Spark Ideas

Creative Solutions

Perhaps we can find a way to get creative solutions from a famous novel. From the novel "To the Lighthouseby Virginia Woolf:

Certainly she was losing consciousness of outer things. And as she lost consciousness of outer things ... her mind kept throwing up from its depths, scenes, and names, and sayings, and memories and ideas, like a fountain spurting.

Can new ideas and associations stream into our consciousness from a daydream? Ideas that can help us find new solutions, more solutions and better solutions to old problems? Once derided as "infantile" by Freud, and, as "useless," by many others, daydreaming has recently been determined to be an essential cognitive tool. One that helps us to deal with reality when reality is not quite up to our liking. More than just a coping mechanism, daydreaming is beneficial when we need creative solutions.

law of attraction coachCan't figure something out? Stop intently focusing on the issue for a spell. Do the dishes instead. Yes, I'm serious, do the dishes. Boring tasks lead to daydreaming. And, daydreaming may show a new solution to an old problem. If you want a creative solution, do some house work.

Yes, you may now be a reason to get excited about doing chores: creative solutions to a problem we have been stuck on.

Boring tasks can induce creative thinking that can produce new and unique solutions to the same old problems. A study published in Psychological Science led by Benjamin Baird and Jonathan Schooler at the University of California at Santa Barbara reveals “creative solutions may be facilitated specifically by simple external tasks that maximize mind-wandering.” The scientists argue that simple and boring tasks take up just enough mental horsepower to execute the task, without focusing on it, and leave enough mental space for free-flowing thoughts and associations to occur.

New research found that our minds make unlikely connections between ideas, memories, and associations, when we are relaxing. As the mind wanders, it becomes creative, and can come up with new ways to deal with what has preoccupied us.

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.

~ Neil Gaiman

As the daydreaming mind wanders through different parts of the brain it accesses information that was inaccessible through deliberate thinking. A dialogue occurs between the different parts of the brain. And, new thoughts based on unique associations are streamed into our consciousness.

When focused on a task it becomes more difficult to be creative. And, the difficulty with simply sitting quietly with the problem is that it may induce too much analytical focus and redundant thinking to allow for the kind of free association that a wandering mind provides.

shower thought

What you are looking for is a relaxed attention. You want to be emotionally distanced from the issue and lack the hard-core focus that you might use for, lets say, a calculus test. But don't go to far in the other direction either. This is not a meditation. You want the pleasant escape that a drifting mind provides when painting the fence.

Of course you don't have to do a boring task to daydream but such activities do help distract you just enough to allow for free thinking. Plus, you can get your junk drawer sorted out at the same time! Or, you can finally rearrange the furniture in den like you always planned to. Heck, associate chores with creative solutions to life's problems and may have just solved your procrastination issues, as well! Two birds with one stone.

A casual walk or hike can also work. But boring tasks work very well. Either activity could lead to a creative solution.

We always assume that you get more done when you’re consciously paying attention to a problem. That’s what it means, after all, to be ‘working on something.’ But this is often a mistake. If you’re trying to solve a complex problem, then you need to give yourself a real break, to let the mind incubate the problem all by itself. We shouldn’t be so afraid to actually take some time off.

~ Jonathan Schooler

creative solutionsI would be remiss if I didn't mention another advantage to daydreaming: manifestation. Often your mind drifts to find a preferred reality. Perhaps, there is a desire, or a goal, you wish to attain. Well, it just so happens that when you daydream about your wish, it creates the perfect vibration for attracting that desire into your reality.

When you are having a pleasant daydream about how you wish things were, you are living that reality in your imagination, without the burden of doubts. Doubt free imagination produces a pure, obstacle free, vibrational match to your desire. It also lifts your spirits, which, is essential for attracting what you want. The Universe does not differentiate between your reality and your imagination. It just responds to your predominant vibrations.

Daydreaming should not to be a task - more of a pleasant escape where a creative solution could be found. And, you could daydream with the sole purpose of enjoying your wish by fantasizing that it already came true. Do not get distracted by associating your daydream with the means to get what you want. This way you can let your imagination take you to even greater heights than what your goals may have limited you with. See what joys your limitless imagination can bring you. Your vibration will soar.

Do this every day, in as many moments as you remember to do it, and you will be amazed at how quickly your life and your perceptions of your life will change. Dream for the deliciousness of dreaming on.



MLA: "PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE: Forthcoming paper by Jonathan Schooler ..." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2014 .


3 Replies to “Creative Solutions – Boring Tasks Spark Ideas”

  1. Mowing the lawn seems to do it for me. I feel relaxed afterwards and I do get new ideas about things I’m working on.

    Fun and informative blog . . .

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