How to boost your creativity with a well-deserved holiday
Why it’s better to brainstorm for that important project AFTER your vacation
We’ve all been there; it’s a few weeks before your holiday starts and everything seems a little more difficult than usual. You work harder than ever because you prefer to finish your entire to-do list before your well-deserved vacation starts. Due to all the stress and pressure, your creativity dwindles. In a fervent attempt to leave no loose ends before your holiday starts, you still decide to schedule one last brainstorming session for that one big project…
In this article, I’m going to tell you why it’s better to hold off that brainstorm until after your holiday. Trust me …and thank me later.
A holiday can boost your creativity
We all enjoy a well-deserved vacation. Not working for a while, spending time with family & friends and only doing things we really like. Whether you go mountain biking and rock climbing or prefer to bake in the sun on a tropical beach… a good holiday revitalises you. But did you know that you might even come back more creative?
Distance from the problem
By not working for a while, we literally and figuratively distance ourselves from the problem. Because you are no longer on top of it, space is created in your head, which makes you see things in perspective. Once you return from your vacation the problem may no longer be as unsolvable as it seemed before you changed from a suit into a swimsuit.
So remove those work-related apps from your phone and leave your laptop at home. Embrace the distance!
Distance from your problem is not the only way your vacation will boost your creativity. The holiday itself can be beneficial as well! When you are in another country, you will often be exposed to different habits and viewpoints. You will start to see that there’s more than one way to look at a situation. Being exposed to different cultures makes it easier to shift between very different ideas.
Simply being in another country is not enough though, you have to immerse yourself in another culture to open your mind to different ways of thinking. Talk to the locals, live with the locals and act like the locals.
While exposure to other cultures is key to this effect, this doesn’t mean you have to travel far. You can also encounter different cultures in another neighbourhood, a different city or another province. Why not stay (and help out) at a local farm, cook with refugees or join your local mosque’s iftar?
A new environment or stimulus affects your brain. New sounds, smells, tastes, languages or sights stimulate different parts of your brain, which leads to new connections and insights.
Are you planning a staycation? Then throw in some elements from other cultures. Try a different type of restaurant, for instance. Have you ever tried Ethiopian, Peruvian or Moroccan cuisine? Even at home you can embrace elements from different cultures. Simply read a novel about someone living in a country you know little about or listen to a music genre you usually wouldn’t play.
A sense of wonder
Another way a holiday might boost your creativity is by creating a sense of wonder. A holiday trip might make your brain more flexible because it confronts you with things that are very different from what you encounter in your daily environment. Beautiful landscapes and different architecture will stimulate your brain and create wonder. Unexpected events and scenes spark new connections in your brain. And new and unusual connections boost your creativity!
You don’t have to leave the country to create this effect. You don’t even have to travel! A good book, a visit to a museum or a walk through the forest can also evoke wonder. As long as you open up and are consciously engaged in your activity. Occasionally stop to look around, let your senses do their work and soak up the inspiration.
Plan that holiday!
Have you booked your next holiday or planned a rejuvenating staycation? Make sure you immerse yourself in another culture, pay close attention to the wonders around you and distance yourself from your work. I guarantee you’ll return to the office more creative!