The Connection between Time and Creativity

Creativity is in as high demand now as perhaps it ever has been.

And I don’t just mean in marketing a product better or preaching a more interesting sermon. I mean that we need creative parents to raise healthy children in an increasingly complex world. We need creative political leaders to help move us beyond partisan gridlock to solve serious problems. We need creative business leaders who can run successful businesses while also putting the larger community and society along side of shareholders as persons to whom they are accountable. We need creative religious leaders who can help us imagine how faith speaks to us in a relentlessly materialistic world. We need creative children to help us imagine a better tomorrow.

We need creativity like never before

But in our rush to be creative, we often overlook one of the most important elements of the creative process: time. Creatively, that is, cannot be rushed.

Or, actually, it can, but the results are an anemic, impoverished, even stunted creative process that will not lead to the creative solutions we definitely need.

The brief video below is both startling and inspiring as it shows the contrast between what kids can do with just a little time and with just a little more.

So when you are next on the brink of losing it with your child because you can’t think creatively about dealing with your child’s misbehavior in any way except exploding, take a time-out – for both of you – to come up with another response.

When you are struggling with a problem at work or home, go for a walk, give yourself time to think things over, and refuse the illusion of a crisis – most decisions can wait.

When you are having a hard time imagining a creative way into the give biblical reading that your sermon is supposed to be on, list out all your seemingly inadequate ideas, then put them aside and read something totally different. Come back when you feel less pressure and more time and see what comes to mind. (Harder to do on a Saturday night, I realize. …Just saying. ☺)

Whenever you need to be creative, allow yourself a little more time, have a little more fun, and who knows what the results may be.

Notes: 1) If you are receiving this post by email, you may need to click here to watch the video.
2) Thanks to Chad McDaniel at Restless Faith for point me to this video.