The BBC Horizon documentary ‘The Creative Brain – How Insight Works’ written and directed by Kate Dart offered food for thought on how to get  the mind working to its maximum potential.

One neuroscientist says that even though the creative  ‘eureka moment’ may seem to be a flash of inspiration out of the nowhere, the process that leads up to it is actually more likely to be a slow and meandering one. The direct A to B route doesn’t allow enough scope for the kind of divergent thinking that gives the best ideas nor will it help in seeing problems or challenges  from a lateral perspective.

The mental handcuffs that stifle creativity appear to lurk in the frontal lobes of the brain and the trick is to find ways to shut these down or bypass them. This explains how people often get their best ideas when engaged in tasks that don’t require any great concentration although I don’t think spending hours slumped in front of the TV will make you into an Einstein.

The trick is to avoid becoming too bogged down and over-focused on tasks. One female researcher referred to this as “functional fixedness”  and advocated actively seeking out fresh experiences or new ways to do mundane tasks to wake up the brain.

All in all, cutting off distractions can help get the creative juices flowing, although this is easier said than done when news and entertainment industries appear to be built around the assumption that most consumers suffer from attention deficit disorders.

Related links – pick a number!
101 ways to be more creative (The Creative Post)
27 ways to be more creative (Creative Team Thinking)
21 ways to be more creative (Cristine Kane)
10 ways to be more creative (Sustainably creative)
7 ways to be more creative(Care 2 – Green Living)
5 ways to be more creative (bbc.co.uk)
3 ways to be more creative. (thechangeyourlifeblog.wordpress.com)

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