Unlock your creative side

Men’s Health:

With almost half of Brits working between 9 and 11 hours a day, finding a creative spark can be elusive. Borrow these tips from well-trained minds to turn on your light-bulb moment

Be an ideas man under pressure

“In my work, being ‘stuck’ is the norm,” says Professor Ian Stewart, a mathematician at the University of Warwick. “So I go off and do something else. Like mow the lawn or take a bath. Your subconscious keeps working, and if it gets somewhere, it tells you.”

Distract yourself: When a deadline is looming, create the same ‘psychological distance’ that Stewart relies on by spending 30 minutes doing something completely off topic. A study at the University of Indiana found that changing mental tack can double the number of creative problems you solve during the day. If you’re still flummoxed, make the problem ‘foreign’ in your mind. Imagine how somebody from a different sector might approach it – or even that you’re working on it in a different country.

When to use it: Long afternoon burnouts, plus any problem that requires complete reimagining.

Read the whole story: Men’s Health

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