Do Distractions Make You More Creative?

Today, I’d like to point you toward a wonderful article from Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action. He talks about finding the right balance between distraction and focus to support your creativity.

Mark writes:

Regular Lateral Action readers will know I’m a big believer in the power of focus.

When it’s time to produce, it’s time to eliminate distractions – switch off the phone, e-mail, internet etc – and concentrate on the task in hand. Because focused attention is essential for achieving creative flow, the state in which you do your best creative work.

Over the years I’ve advocated various tools and techniques for minimising distractions and heightening your powers of concentration, including meditation, time management, rituals and software applications.

So what do you think I made of a recent article by Jonathan Lehrer in the Wall Street Journal, arguing that people who are easily distracted are more creative and productive than those who find it easy to maintain a laserlike focus?”  To read more, click on this link: Do Distractions Make You More Creative?.


2 Responses to “Do Distractions Make You More Creative?”

  1. 1 Carmen March 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I have recently found that I am MUCH more productive if I have temporary distractions, for instance those found in a coffee shop where I am not likely to run in to anyone that I know personally. I can take a few seconds to allow my mind to process what I am working on while I observe a passerby and then return to my work. At home there are so many “to do” items looking at me it is an easy excuse to escape when the creative work gets hard, in an environment that is too sterile, like a hotel, it feels confining.

    For me, many of my best ideas come to me when I am driving, walking, cleaning . . . doing something with my hands but my mind is free to PERCOLATE away at my ideas, my small questions, my muse songs . . .

    • 2 stranglingmymuse March 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      I have the same experience, Carmen, that great ideas often come to me when I’m walking, showering, etc. And daydreaming can be a big part of the creative process! Coffee shops are great too. For me, working away from home sometimes changes the energy in a positive way.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


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