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Can Screen Time Impede Creativity?

(4 Key Ways Stepping Away from the Screen Boosts Creativity)

Have you ever sat in front of the screen waiting for that creative inspiration to dawn on you? Turns out out that is the last place we should be when hoping for creative inspiration.

Here are three key ways that we can use Physical Intelligence to boost creativity and flexibility -- by spending time away from our screens:

1) Trust, novelty, vitality and positive mood all increase the chances of having creative ideas. Just before a creative connection is made, the visual cortex of the brain relaxes and we enter a momentary calm alpha wave brain state. To increase the chances of having that type of an insight, it helps to close your eyes and relax and clear your mind. In that sense, screen time is counterproductive to creative thinking.

2) Dopamine is the most important chemical for creativity. It enables connections across multiple areas of the brain – including vision and imagination – and is released when things are novel, fun and when you look at them from different perspectives. It is also released when you see stimulating or inspiring scenery or art, and is critical in our desire to reach our goals. A quiet mind and an internal focus help so that ideas can be captured rather than drowned out by too much external data. Don’t try too hard, though, because making an effort to be creative impedes ideas. We need to relax, let go, and let them come naturally. (Have you ever woken up in the morning with the solution to a problem in your mind, clear as day?) If you want to spark a creative idea, step away from your screen, get a good night's sleep, and get out in nature, try forest bathing or head to your favorite museum or art gallery.

3) As mentioned in our post earlier this week, recent research from Stanford University shows that whilst seated looking at a fixed object only 50% of people can come up with a high quality new idea, whereas while walking (outside or inside, even on a treadmill), 95% of people can produce a high quality new idea. Movement is vital for creative thinking. Insight is encouraged by a change in focus; therefore, varying immersion in a particular task with relaxed focus elsewhere invites inspiration.

4) Daylight releases serotonin, the well-being chemical that makes us feel lighter and more flexible. Creativity is a form of flexibility. Whenever the sun is shining, make sure to spend some time outside, take off your shades, get light into your eyes and soak up those feel good rays. In Scandinavia, which has long hours of darkness, light cafés have been pioneered and these have now spread to other parts of the world.

Remember...block time on your calendars to step away from the screen. Spend some time quiet time or time looking at whatever you find beautiful -- and if it's sunny where you are, get outside! You should return full of creative ideas!

For more information about how Physical Intelligence enhances Creativity or how other aspects of Physical Intelligence can help you, your team or your organization, visit us at or order our book, on sale now.

About Companies in Motion

There are over 80 easy to use techniques and tips to build our Physical Intelligence. You can read about all of them in our new book, Physical Intelligence: Harness Your Body’s Untapped Intelligence to Achieve More, Stress Less and Live More Happily available from Simon and Schuster. (Order here.) (Multiple translations will be available later in 2019.)

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