How to Kick the Curse of “Being Busy” and Be More Creative
The lads have been let out of their cages once more.
This week, Matt speaks to the lads about how everyone seems just so god damn busy these days and how it could be coming at a cost to the periods of creativity we all need to get by.
As if to emphasise this point, Matt’s brought with him a few bottles of Little Creatures Rogers Beer!
The lads all seem to actually be enjoying this one for once as well, which is pretty rare in all honesty.
“That’s a pretty strong and flavourful beer if I’m honest” - Conrad
“It says it’s only 3/7 on the flavour scale they print on the label.” - Matt
“Well, my tastebuds are pretty fucked then” - Conrad
Busy Busy Busy
It’s no secret that humans have been getting pretty fucking busy these days. New techniques in “boosting productivity” and getting more done in the day have been the primary focus of most businesses that want their employees’ abilities to be at the forefront of their minds. Anything can give us an edge in business and so it’s been that preoccupation in helping employees achieve higher levels of focus and productivity that means humans in the modern era are a pretty busy bunch of people.
We’re in a constant state of answering emails, checking our workloads, and making sure that the pieces of business we need to actually get done as time goes on.
This, of course, doesn’t even mention the horrifying reality of social media, which seems so horrendously prevalent in our lives that even the small amount of free time many people have is promptly eaten up by the browsing feeds and news feeds of Instagram and Facebook, not to mention the existence of Youtube, Linkedin, Twitter and now TikTok.
Things will probably get worse as well. The advent of self-driving cars and wider transportation, as well as the automation of multiple other industries, means that humans will have even less they really need to focus on beyond the busyness of their own lives.
In short. It’s a really really busy time for people.
Culturally, this probably isn’t helped by people like the venerable Gary “#GaryVee” Vaynerchuck, as well as a slew of much lesser “entrepreneurs” on social media that put a massive emphasis on the importance of obsessive levels of work as a way to eternal happiness. With buzzwords like “grind” and “hustle” becoming commonplace amongst the overworked as a form of paradoxical self-care.
So, where does all of this business actually lead to?
How much can we tolerate in our lives before we eventually burnout? Is it even worth it to play this grand game of longitudinal chicken with our own lifestyles?
As it turns out, all of this business has it’s obvious downsides, with it principally becoming an issue amongst humans and their own creativity.
Yup. Creativity has become a problem amongst modern humans as we’ve managed to essentially “tune out’ and rely on our “linear thinking” as a way to get through the day without engaging our “creative thinking” bits.
For context, our Linear Thinking is the part of our minds principally concerned with “real” stuff like decision making and what it is literally in front of us, such as work or social media.
Our Creative Thinking is, by contrast, the part of our mind that’s mostly focused on the inward and abstract. This art of the mind is only really engaged when we start to settle into a “daydream” modality of the mind and let our minds wander for a bit.
“Artists recontextualize reality and offer visions that were previously invisible. Creativity engages the brain’s daydreaming mode directly and stimulates the free flow and association of ideas, forging links between concepts and neural modes that might not otherwise be made.” - Daniel Levitin, The Organized Mind (2014)
In layman's terms, the mind needs to spend some time actually doing some daydreaming from time to time to actually run optimally. In essence, the act of doing nothing is actually highly important to us mentally, as it allows the brain to engage an entire other side of the mind and flex itself out like a muscle.
The Power of Imagination
This is, despite our own nature, blindingly obvious when we think about those who came before. Most of histories greatest thinkers, scientists and philosophers came from eras where people no doubt had a lot of fucking time on their hands. As a result, they filled up that time pursuing other interests from their primary vocation.
As an example, let’s bring up the tale of one of history's busiest men ever, the 26th President of the United States; Theodore Roosevelt.
Ol’ Teddy was arguably one of the most hilariously over-productive and hard-working politicians of his era, or any era for that fact.
Here’s a quick rundown of things Teddy did during his tenure as leader of the USA:
- Established the foundations of over 100 years of American foreign policy in his dealings with the nations of Southeast Asia and the American Occupation of the Philippines.
- Ensured the protection and conservation of America’s wildlife with the establishment of national parks such as the famous “Yellowstone” Park.
- Oversaw an economic policy that led to one of the largest economic booms in the world before WW2
- Won a Nobel Peace Prize for brokering a deal to end the Russo-Japanese War in 1906
- Turned the United States naval fleet into the second-largest fleet in the world, behind the famous Royal Fleets of the British Empire, at a time when industrialised Naval fleets were the ultimate form of warfare.
- Invented the concept of welfare among the western nations with his famous "Square Deal" policy
- Famously made a habit of reading “two books a day” in an era where audiobooks and Blinkist didn’t exist.
- Personally oversaw the construction of the Panama Canal
- Created a political campaign based on a hunting incident that led to the creation of the ‘Teddy Bear’ toy.
- Became the youngest ever President of The United States, a record he still holds today.
- Got his face on the Mount Rushmore monument alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
- Was famously shot ten minutes into a speech he was making by an assassin before remarking “a bullet can’t stop a bull moose” and finishing the remaining fifty minutes of his speech with the bullet still in his body.
Yeah. Teddy was the fucking man.
Here’s the thing though, Teddy Roosevelt was also one of the most hilariously chilled out presidents ever as well, as he often spent time leaving the Whitehouse for weeks, or even months, at a time literally doing anything he wanted at the time. Often with no notification that he’d left or even where he was.
His security detail were apparently very stressed people at the time.
The kicker here is what Teddy would do on his random bouts of time off. He’d go camping, fishing, hunting, birdwatching and even just casually roughriding in a random direction until he’d hit a new country.
These are all pretty solitary activities that leave a lot of time for the mind to wander and daydream and that’s arguably what Roosevelt did as he engaged his creative mind and thinking as often as he could, being well aware of the power he had when his own creativity in thought could work at maximum capacity.
And the results are there to see because Teddy Roosevelt accomplished a lot for someone in a single lifetime. We’re pretty sure even Gary Vaynerchuck or Tony Robbins would struggle to keep up.
That’s it for this week’s episode! Be sure to have a listen to the show if you haven’t already and check out how the guys deal with their own busyness and creativity!
Thanks For Listening!
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Host: “Magic” Matt J Hanham
Co-Hosts: Travis Hayto, Justin Bourn and Conrad “Conye” Francis
Production: Joshua Ames