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The Creative Pause Technique

Stop handPerhaps the simplest creative technique is the Creative Pause. Formally introduced by Dr. Edward de Bono, the creative pause can actually be considered more of a pseudo-technique because what it does is mentally prepare you to become more creative rather than help you generate ideas through a set of specific steps.

With the creative pause you practice clearing your mind and becoming more aware of your surroundings.

The point of the pause is to avoid getting so wrapped up in the flow of life that you become oblivious to the possibilities around you. It’s a way to become a bit more mindful of situations you find yourself in.

Especially when we are trying to get something like a side business going it’s easy to get so consumed with what we’re doing we don’t consider alternatives to what we’re doing.

Building creative pauses into the daily routine

By building in intentional pauses into your daily routine, your mind becomes more open to creative thought. Because the mode in which most people generate ideas is in reaction to some external event, rather than being formulated proactively, it’s important to build mental resets into your day.

Here are a couple of  ideas on how the creative pause can be incorporated into daily life:

  • When starting a chunk of work you know will take a long time set a timer for an hour. When it goes off, take a moment to clear your mind, reflect on what you are doing and determine if there are any more effective alternatives to your current task.
  • Periodically ask yourself ‘why’ when doing tasks to keep perspective. I can speak from personal experience that when working alone on my own business, that it’s very easy to go down a rabbit hole because so often one is in doing mode rather than reflecting mode.