LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ARE YOU READY?

HOW TO BE CREATIVE : SWITCHING BETWEEN FOCUSED AND DIFFUSE THINKING

I work in the creative industry, and this is an industry which is very used and abused because a lot of people do not understand what it takes to have inspirations to be creative. Whenever people interview me, I always tell them that I do not believe in my team working late. If we have to work late, I can safely say that it isn't me being inefficient. I am probably one of the efficient people around and I always give more than what is expected. So, if we have to work late, which other departments are then being inefficient? Should this be creative department who suffers the late nights and long hours then? I beg to differ. The creative department is the brains and the life line of all creative agencies and extra care needs to be taken.

I always ask my designers to go home when it is time. There is no point staying late to earn brownie points or to keep trying when you are stuck in a creative rut. Go home, or go out, see new things, enjoy yourself and come back to me tomorrow refreshed. If you are stuck, I am not going to tolerate it if you continue to dug a deeper rut. And there is much truth about this in the Coursera Learn how to learn module.

When we do not give our brains the time to detox in the form of sleeping or the diffuse section of our brains to digest and subconsciously figure out the information and ideas absorbed during the focused mode, we will be going nowhere and the foundations of those thoughts will be weak.

Salvatore Dali practiced his diffuse thinking in the form of his dreams. He would sit on an armchair holding a bunch of keys and fall asleep to dream. He would then be woken up when he drops the keys onto a plate, thereby making noise to wake himself up to quickly note down his ideas and visions.
Focused thinking is what we develop when we are learning from textbooks for example. Diffuse thinking of a more relax and creative state of mind. It is exercising, it is pause, it is walking, it is relaxing, enjoying music, whatever it is. In this state of running around and moving creates new neurons in our adult brains (even) that helps us to process the focused thinking and be better thinkers.

Using the analogy of pinball machines, focused mode has tighter bumper that keep thoughts concentrated and diffuse mode have looser bumpers that aid in  more broad-ranging thinking.

Focused: Familiarity (textbook)
Diffuse: Broad-range, dealing with new things, creativity

AS A SUMMARY OF THE 1st MODULE OF LEARN HOW TO LEARN WITH COURSERA
  • To activate the diffuse mode, sleep or go for a walk, just relax. The trick is to focus and then relax to let things settle and process. 
  • It always takes time to build a foundation. 
  • Patterning procrastination is important in practicing focused and diffuse mode. Practice to make permanence is important in dealing with more abstract topics. 
  • Long term memory is a huge trustworthy storage unlike working memory which is like a blackboard (erasable). If you work your working memory repetitively, it can become long term memory.
  • Never cramp all learnings in one day. The mind and neutrons need time to build a solid foundation.
  • Exercise is valuable in improving our memory and ability to learn so that we can build new neutrons in our brains.

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