Many people try too hard to be creative. If you’re not naturally very creative, you might try to force it the same way you would more serious work, by sitting down and focusing very hard.
However, this might actually be counterproductive, because it’s been shown that being somewhat unfocused actually helps you be more creative. People draw creativity from many different places.
It’s very rare that you will produce something creative and original from focusing really hard on one particular thing. Instead, if you can zone out a bit, you can take in more information from everything else around you, which will often yield more creativity.
This isn’t to say that you’ll be creative while being entirely distracted. At some point, you’re going to not be creative at all because you’ll be so distracted and unfocused that you won’t even give a little bit of thought to what you’re supposed to be doing.
Being semi-unfocused is like absorbing all the sounds of the forest, and looking around without any particular purpose. It isn’t completely distracting yourself with a show online and being so preoccupied that you fail to have any creativity.
You can think about it in terms of having tunnel vision. It’s a bad thing to have most of the time, and here it’s no different. If you focus so intently on one thing, you fail to see anything else around you.
This can be detrimental to your creativity. As you block all of these other sources of inspiration out around you, you limit yourself greatly for things you can draw creativity from.
It’s very crucial that you’re unfocused in the right context. Social media is a very common distraction for people, but most of the time, it’s not going to help you very much, so try to avoid it if you can.
Instead, you should be unfocused and immersed in the world around you – places like city squares and residential neighborhoods, just taking in all of the sights and sounds that you can.
If those places aren’t very conducive to being creative for you, there’s always daydreaming. By daydreaming, which would normally be considered unproductive, you might actually open your mind up more than you thought you could, and as long as the project you’re working on is around the forefront of your mind, you’ll come up with some pretty creative ideas.