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Combining Rest and Creativity Training to Improve Student Creativity

FinnWing's picture



Paul Grobstein's picture

meditation and education

"meditation helps my creativity because it allows me to process more information, improves my attention and focus, helps me feel less stressed, and therefore allows me to solve complicated problems more patiently using a greater base of information while staying calmer and being less inclined to want to give up."

Yep, that's my experience too.  But its not, I suspect, an experience that very many people have had given current cultural patterns.  And it flies in the face of peoples' sense of urgency about using time "productively"?  Any ideas about how to change that? 

FinnWing's picture

Tough Question

  There certainly is a sense of urgency that tells people time must be spent "productively," and it is tough to justify spending time resting when there is so much else to do.  In many cases, friends and colleagues (fellows postbacs for sure) seem to be keen to see how much one studies and works; this creates an impetus to work or seem to be working, even if it happens to be inefficient.  There is also an individual feeling that quantity of time spent working rather than quality time is sometimes easier to gauge and feel good about. 

  I think the best way to change the culture is to encourage people to take breaks, rest, and see the results.  It is ironic, but it can seem like working all the time is easier than taking breaks when necessary, because it is hard to manage time and as lousy a life as it is to work all the time, a monoculture can be easier to manage.  To rest is to see the benefits, but to rest one must really put work away and this can be very hard. 

  Your simple question is very tough to answer.  What do you think would good ways to change the culture?