"...from my experience I did my best thinking when not under pressure…." - Stefan Sagmeister
Rest and relaxation are important for creativity and productivity/
Just as we need to take regular breaks during our everyday life to optimise productivity, alleviate stress and tiredness, so we also need downtime from our creative projects.
Taking breaks from creativity can help shift your thinking from habitual thoughts.
For many years, Bill Gates took a twice yearly Think Week in which employees, friends and even family were banned.
Fiona Apple took six years off from performing before releasing her album Extraordinary Machine in 2010, stating that “I realised that after six years of not doing this kind of stuff, it doesn’t define who I am, and I’ll be just fine without ii…”
Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister (who has designed album covers for Loud Reed, The Rolling Stones and Jay Z, among others), closes his New York design studio for a whole year in order to rejuvenate and spend time experimenting. Although he continues to be creative during this year, he has no clients.
And he’s strict about it, too. He turned down an opportunity to design a poster for Barak Obama’s campaign while he was on sabbatical.
The Rolling Stones, Bridges to Babylon by Stefan Sagmeister:
Of course, not everyone is in a position to take long periods of time off work for various reason, but if you can afford to take a day off your creativity or even just a few hours here or there, try.
Creativity will still be waiting for you when you get back.
Capture ideas, read, take notes, but don’t create!
Don’t think of being idle as a vice when it comes to creativity.
You will probably miss being creative, but you will go back to it feeling refreshed and with a clear head.
You may even find after a creative break that in retrospect you may have been spending too much time at creativity, working at it at a level that was detrimental.
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