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Slow Down to Boost Creativity

Slow running

Some years ago I learned from my ultrarunning coach, Scott Jurek, bestselling author of Eat and Run, that to boost your endurance and ultrarunning performance, you have to slow down.  You can’t go out every day and run your hardest.  In fact, your body needs you to slow down and work other systems that support speed.  Going slow on a lot of training days allows your body to recover and perform at a higher level, giving you more energy to reach your running goals.

I find the same to be true when it comes to creativity. If you try to constantly create at 21st century warp speed, you’ll find yourself on a treadmill to destination burnout.  Soon you’ll find that you are completely exhausted, depleted, and unable to create.

To boost creativity, get to work slowing down. Have you ever noticed that when you return from vacation your natural rhythm is reset to a slower pace? Embed that new rhythm into your daily routine.  Get off the treadmill.  Work in bursts.  Focus on work for 50 minutes, then take a 10-minute break. Take a walk.  Listen to music.  Sit still. Meditate.  Nap.

According to Carl Honore, bestselling author of In Praise of Slowness and The Slow Fix, “By slowing down at the right moments, people find that they do everything better: They eat better; they exercise better; they work better; they live better.”  And you will create better.

Honore elaborates on the power of slowness in this engaging TedTalk:

We as humans are not made to be like computers that go and go until one day we crash.  We are designed with natural rhythms, like the rising and setting of the sun.  So try slowing down to boost creativity.  You’ll feel refreshed, energized and ready to create.

8 Comments

  1. I love this. So true. And today I noticed I was revving up again…so I read this at the perfect time too. Going to take a nice tea break before I head off into the classroom to teach. Was going to go through emails…they’ll be there later. <3

  2. Belinda Rose says:

    As a writer, I so agree with this. A lot of what I write is “downloaded”. Sometimes, the download stops and I’ve noticed if I get up and actively do something, it begins to flow again!

  3. So important to honor natural rhythms. I end up feeling exhausted, frantic and burned out every time I try to change or resist them. This is a great reminder that sometimes slow can be a good thing.

  4. Lindsey says:

    Great information.

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