How to Reward Yourself to Inspire Creativity


So there’s a lot of research about how you create the environment for innovation and create the creativity. There’s many different ways. Some people work better in teams and there’s other people that work better on their own.

One of the things that I’ve studied in The Power of Habit is mental habits - How do we create these mental habits – things like the creative spark or the urge to be innovative easier? More automatic?

One of the things that we know is it is critical to reward yourself once you have this urge. So if you think about it, in many ways we tend to punish ourselves when we day dream or when we procrastinate – these sessions that we know are very powerful for creativity, but feel wasteful, they feel unproductive.

So people will say to themselves, “Okay so I’m allowed to walk for 10 minutes, but then I have to be back in my desk and then I have to do 10 emails to make up for the 10 minutes I spent wandering around or daydreaming. What we know about the neurology of habit-formation is that habits flourish when there’s a reward that your brain can grab onto.

So if you want to make yourself more creative and encourage this automatic creativity it means that when you have these creative moments – taking a walk, daydreaming,  just going off on a tangent you need to actually reward yourself for doing that so that your brain grasps onto that and says something important and useful thing that I should do more automatically – so go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back or a chocolate chip cookie or something else for doing something that doesn’t necessary feel productive, but what you feel like increases your creativity.

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