March 29, 2021
Below is a lesson from Inc. Magazine on how blocks of disconnected quiet time effect our thinking and creativity, as well as our key learnings.
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Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Neuroscience All Agree: Your Daily Routine Needs More ‘Non-time’
Your busy daily routine is healthy and productive. It might also be killing your creativity.
BY JESSICA STILLMA
Both science and history tell us that getting your daily routine right is essential for success. No wonder the internet is full of admiring articles about the morning routines of famous people and lists of suggested habits to add to your daily schedule. Spend enough time with this kind of advice and it’s likely your day will end up crammed with worthy and beneficial activities, from gratitude practices to journaling exercises to nature walks.
Research shows all of these activities are good for you, but there is a catch to shoving ever more of them into your schedule — science is just as clear that you also need plenty of “non-time” in your routine. If you crowd your days with every healthy habit out there, you’re unlikely to get enough of it.
You don’t have enough non-time in your schedule.
First off, what is “non-time”? As The Art of the Impossible author and TED speaker Steven Kotler explained recently on the TED Ideas blog, non-time is basically a fancy word for quiet alone time when you are insulated from the world’s noise and demands.
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- There are a lot of worthy and beneficial activities that we should be incorporating into our daily lives, such as gratitude practices, journaling, exercise, etc. Science shows that you also need plenty of “non-time” in your routine.
- Non-time – quiet alone time when you are insulated from the world’s noise and demands (Steven Kotler, author of The Art of the Impossible)
- Neuroscience shows that blocks of disconnected quiet time have a profound effect on our thinking and creativity.
- “Pressure forces the brain to focus on the details, activating the left hemisphere and blocking out that bigger picture. Worse, when pressed, we’re often stressed. We’re unhappy about the hurry, which sours our mood and further tightens our focus. Being time-strapped, then, can be kryptonite for creativity.” – Steven Kotler
- Non-time helps us to relax enough to see the big picture and allow for innovative ideas to surface.
- Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs are two examples of geniuses that used “non-time” to generate innovative ideas, followed by hard work to bring their ideas to fruition.