This week’s episode of the Productivity Paradox podcast was about the importance of taking breaks for increasing both productivity and mental clarity. The show host Tonya Dalton speaks about five different kinds of breaks (because social media breaks scrolling through feeds on your phone are counterproductive): Relaxation breaks, Movement breaks, Alone time breaks, Social breaks, and Nature breaks. As I listened, however, it occurred to me that a creativity break might be a sixth type.
I’ve always done my Creative Play™ at the beginning of a day or at the beginning of my studio time as a way to get my creative juices flowing. But, periodic play breaks throughout the day would do wonders for my mental clarity and no doubt for my productivity as well. Of course, I had to quit my job and start working for myself before I found a boss who wouldn’t question my loyalty if I pulled out my crayons during the day, but I hope those times are a changin’. I dream of a day when offices have art supply closets and no one looks askance at someone coloring at their desk.
So, what kinds of Creative Play™ could you do as a break during your workday?
- Take a walk outside with your smart phone and take a photo of something that inspires you. (Bonus! It’s also a Nature break.)
- Find one of those conference rooms that don’t get a lot of use and draw on the white board. If you feel comfortable doing so, leave it to brighten someone’s day when they head in for a boring meeting and find your art instead.
- Challenge yourself to find five uses for a paper clip other than its intended use.
- Pull a page from your recycling bin and sketch a design on it or look around the office and find something that you can draw from your seat.
- Use another page from the bin and try some origami.