Saturday, March 26, 2011

I've Got Rhythm...

And so do you! And maybe, just maybe, there is a way we can harness one of these biological rhythms to enhance creativity and well-being. And you don't have to dance it, unless you really want to!

The rhythm in question is the ultradian rhythm. It occurs approximately every 90 to 120 minutes for about twenty minutes. Those twenty minutes may provide us with some essential and welcomed benefits, including fostering creativity, provided we don't do much. So, how do we foster anything by not doing something? That seems, well, unnatural!

The reverse is actually true. We may put in an hour and a half to two hours of focused attention, whether it be trying to pay attention at a long meeting, writing a novel, or engaging in scholarly research. So far, so good. What happens next is key. The mind and body will experience a push for us to go inward. We may feel kind of day dreamy. We may try and override this tendency because it feels unproductive. We may ingest caffeine, nicotine, or just keep pushing on through, which, as it turns out, are not very ultradian-minded.

Instead, we should just "go" with the rhythm. Sit back, reflect, breathe. Put the pen down. Push the keyboard away. Shoe the co-workers out of the room. This may be a time during which our ideas assimilate and things begin to gel unconsciously. We likely will feel more positive and energized afterward. And, who knows? Maybe a solution will emerge to that plot twist with which we were previously struggling. That would be pretty cool!

So, be aware of your rhythm. Follow the beat of your internal drummer. And remember, you don't have to dance...unless you really want to!

Creatively yours!