Excise sharpen brain activity, almost every dimension of the condition improves from exercising these July 2020 Calendar Templates, and creativity is no exception. The type of exercise doesn’t matter, and the boost lasts for at least two hours afterward.” Regular sleep doesn’t hurt, either. According to a Harvard study, with proper sleep and incubation, “People are 33 percent more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas. Daily meditation practice is another kind of preparation. Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges and Grammy-winning musician Moby both meditate regularly. At its best, meditation trains your mind to be attentive and focused, and it’s commonly assumed to reduce stress. Over time, meditation can lead to better use of the brain’s faculties, a greater sense of compassion, and increased sensitivity to the inherent connections between ideas. You can manage all these things with the help of these amazingJuly 2020 Calendars and monthly planners. In his book Catching the Big Fish, filmmaker David Lynch suggests that companies can solve productivity problems by advocating meditation. Instead of instilling fear, if a company offered a way for everyone in the business to dive within—to start expanding energy and intelligence—people would work overtime for free. They would be far more creative. And the company would just leap forward. This is the way it can be. It’s not the way it is, but it could be that way so easily.
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Ultimately, there’s no definitive way to manufacture insight. It’s situational, and it comes down to what works for you. What we do know for sure is that whenever your brain senses a pattern and gets too comfortable, creativity stagnates and it’s time to try something else. In the end, preparing for insight is all about being persistent, throwing a wrench into the works from time to time, and always working to stay one step ahead of complacency.
Designer and typographer Stefan Sagmeister are known for his unorthodox approach to creativity. Whether it’s writing a message on the ground of a public square using 250,000 coins or taking a year-long sabbatical every seven years, Sagmeister brings a unique level of meticulous craft and thoughtfulness to his work. As evidenced by his book Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far, he’s also partial to extracting lessons from his life experience. We spoke with him about how brain hacks can lead us to aha moments and why nothing is more important than mapping big creative projects right into your daily schedule. You have to produce great creative work on a daily basis. Do you have any rituals for finding a rhythm? I try to do the most difficult things early in the morning. If I start with the easy stuff, meaning if I start checking and answering e-mail, it’s very difficult to then convince myself to do difficult things later on. What do you do when you need a breakthrough?
One trick I use a lot is to think about a problem from a totally different point of view. It’s a technique from Edward de Bono, a philosopher from Malta. He wrote a number of books about the nature of thinking and how to get better at it. The idea is that you take a starting point that has nothing to do with the project itself. I used this technique for the identity we did for a music center in Portugal—Casa da Musica. It came out of the point of view of a car. I was looking out from a terrace, and I saw a car, and then I started thinking about the identity from the perspective of a car. Let’s see, it’s moving. It’s moving, oh, maybe it goes from one thing to another.
The perspective needs to change the identity, and so forth. In the end, of course, nobody could tell that the Casa da Musica identity came from cars. The reason that de Bono thinks these works is because our brain is so incredibly good at thinking in repetition. If you want to come up with a new idea, the first thing you can always do is think of something that you did before or something that you’ve seen before. So starting with someone, or somewhere, else is just basically a trick to fool the brain out of thinking in repetition.