In today’s noisy and chaotic world, our mind is constantly active. Whether you’re a 9 to 5-er, a creative entrepreneur or a self-employed person who has systems and schedules in place to accomplish the completion of our goals and projects, most of us use our brain incessantly but forget to integrate spaces in our calendars to recharge it.
We all go through phases when we feel stuck and experience a lack of motivation and creativity, and that’s a good indicator that we need to give our brain a little reset. During those times, it’s best that we take a break and focus on something other than work.
It has been shown that creative thought activates alpha-brain waves that help trigger an idea with minimal conscious thought. Jonathan Schooler, American Psychologist and Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has reported that doing something different from sitting at your work desk allows these subtle, unconscious thoughts to take hold. In other words, participating in simple, mindless tasks allows the brain to wander and engage in creative problem-solving.
Many great people throughout history have taken breaks to refuel themselves. Both Beethoven and Tchaikovsky firmly believed that going for a two-hour long walk every day helped them with their musical composition. Einstein enjoyed taking regular naps to recharge himself. John F. Kennedy, during the tense moments of the Cuban Missile Crisis when the United States and Russia were on the verge of getting into a nuclear war, sought calm and solitude in the White House Rose Garden, along with going for long swims to clear his mind and think in a better way. Today, both Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos do their dishes every night for similar reasons, even though they’re among the richest people in the world.
I personally like to fold my laundry, take a nap, or go for a short walk outdoors to reboot my mind and start fresh during my breaks.
The bottom line is that doing simple things, including mundane chores, gives our brain a significant creative boost. Solitude, stillness, and getting ourselves in new environments help us distance away from our pressing problems and allow our brain to recharge and come up with new creative ways to solve them.