How Breaks Increase Creativity

breaks increase creativity

Ideas are a hard thing. Sometimes, they are difficult to think up. But usually, they are harder to implement.

We have great ideas all the time at Campus Rec Magazine and Peake Media. Great ideas that could change the world as we know it. But implementation? Well, that’s a whole other beast.

Implementing said ideas is hard. You need to be organized. You need to think things through. You usually need someone spearheading something.

So, I’m thoroughly impressed with an idea that was had and implemented nearly immediately last week. The editorial team at Peake Media has been reading, “Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout and Thrive with the New Science of Success” by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. It’s a phenomenal book about the balance of stress plus rest equals growth.

Last week, we dove into the idea of rest. What does that mean? What does it look like? Why is it important? And why is rest NOT synonymous with laziness?

There was one fact in our book discussion that stood about above the rest: In a study, it was shown that those who took as little as a six-minute walk outdoors increased their creativity by more than 60 percent. Holy. Cannoli. Sixty percent?! We were all dumbfounded at that fact. Even walking indoors increased creativity by 40 percent. Incredible results on how breaks increase creativity for a bunch of people who have to be creative every day.

Our big thing was what are we going to do about this? After reading something so eye opening, we need to apply it somehow. So, as a team we decided to schedule in two breaks – on company time, not eating into our hour lunch. One in the morning, one in the afternoon. It’s so official, it’s on my Google Calendar.

At those times, we force ourselves to take breaks. Not looking at our phones mind you, but getting up and moving around, chatting and laugh about things other than work. Our goal is to let our minds refresh themselves so once we get back to the grind, creativity can increase.

But I think I see another benefit as well: connection with my team. It’s a relaxed time of laughter and joy amidst busy schedules and stressful days. It is a time set aside to enjoy one another, to have fun while we work.

Although we’ve been doing this for only a week, I’m excited to see how it boosts creativity in our office. And I would encourage you to implement scheduled breaks as well.

Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at heather@peakemedia.com.

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