Laziness is a lost art. I don’t mean laziness in the sense of filling each moment with mindless distraction. I mean proper idleness, when we choose to do nothing. In a world of constant distraction, we rarely put our mental feet up. Instead, we spend our spare time bouncing between novel distractions — going from checking our email, to reading the news, to surfing Facebook, and so on — activities that often make us even more tired.
In any given moment, our attention is either focused or unfocused. Focus gets all the attention — it’s what lets us get work done, have meaningful conversations and move our lives forward. But as it turns out, research shows that unfocusing is just as powerful, albeit in different ways. While focusing makes us more productive, unfocusing makes us more creative.
Think back to your last creative insight — chances are it didn’t happen when you were focusing on one thing.