By Christopher Joanis
As a creative, your brain is always trying to make new connections and produce disruptive ideas. It processes information 24/7 trying to find these gold nuggets: ideas.
At times, as the work piles up and the deadlines are banging on your door, your brain tends to be overwhelmed. Being constantly in search of ideas is inevitably draining your energy in the long run.
How do you deal with that quest for ideas that is never leaving you? how do you switch off, how do you close these apps, how do you clear the clutter.
In my case I thought the answer was quite easy, or I thought it was, just go out, relax, hang out with friends at the pub. The problem in that case scenario is that I can’t do average. I either go away or all the way in. If I’m going out with friend and alcohol is involved It won’t stop until 4 am. The next morning is lost trying to fight that massive hangover. So that’s not the best move productivity-wise.
For me, social drinks had become a way to release the pressure and avoid thinking about work. It’s fine when it happens once a week but the problem was that I needed to disconnect more than once a week. So I starting going out and drinking more often but it got to the point where I was questioning the purpose of the whole operation. I always felt like crap the next morning and spent a month’s rent. At this point I stopped going out so much because it clearly wasn’t working for me. The whole party animal oriented ecosystem that I created around me started to vanish pretty quickly. I was amazed at how sharper and productive I was. I just solved a problem I created myself trying to disconnect.
Then I discovered alternative ways to deal with this issue, the power of meditation for example. your brain is a muscle and if you train it properly you’ll be amazed at the things it can produce. So I started meditating, which helped to guide my focus. I was able to focus longer on certain tasks and now able to discard any work-related issue when I wanted some time off. For me it was a revelation, I was mind blown. What I had been trying to do using alcohol was just so much easier than I expected.
Longtime friendships are important as well, they keep you balanced and grounded. and it’s even better when they have nothing to do with creative work. They bring you their perspective, share their passion and help get you out of the advertising world.
Overall, managing my time, allowing me some time off, meditating and training my brain, making meaningful friendship, exploring new grounds are for me the keys to a happy colourful and sustainable life as a creative. We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. keeping a healthy mind is essential.