The secret to being more creative is to … be bored?
Embracing boredom is exactly what Questlove, lead drummer for the critically acclaimed hip-hop band The Roots, recommends for those struggling to activate their creativity.
“The first thing I tell people is to embrace boredom,” said Questlove, whose real name is Ahmir Khalib Thompson. “The temptation to pick up our phones and entertain ourselves at any silent moment is kind of eating up that time that we should be sitting in silence and letting creativity come to us.”
Creativity is one of the primary focuses of Thompson’s new web series, ‘Quest for Craft.’ The series, produced in collaboration with the Scottish distillery Balvenie, explores the process of creation and the creative processes which produce great works.
“With this series that I did, I got to talk with four friends of mine: Patty Smith, Michael Che, Jimmy Jam, Malcolm Gladwell,” Thompson said. “Four people with different types of creativity, and we kind of just dissected their creative process.”
“I’m a creativity junkie. I wrote a book a few years back called ‘Creative Quest,’” he said. “I wanted to come up with a platform that deals specifically with people that are looking [to learn] how to be creative.”
Since work has moved remote in many industries, productivity has increased significantly as workers have cut down on commute times and more focus has been placed on digital tools. However, remote work may have the opposite effect on creativity, researchers have found.
Lourdes Olvera-Marshall, a diversity and inclusion strategist and executive coach, told Harvard Business Review that employee brainstorming and creativity has decreased in the post-Covid remote work environment because back-to-back Zoom meetings often take up most of the day. She found that employee creativity could be enhanced by taking the time before Zoom meetings to allow employees to chat about non-work related topics and connect socially.
“I’ve seen how these small moments generate connection and psychological safety as team members feel more comfortable with each other; plus, the meetings are more fun,” Olvera-Marshall said.
Ihsaan Fanusie is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @IFanusie.
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