Note: High summer seems an ideal time to hang low, retreat from the bright spotlight, and practice the art of Productive Loafing. Productive Loafing is the intentional act of retreating from “doing” and from public engagement. It can come in many forms as this series of articles will show. While “hanging low” during high summer, I’m posting ideas and archived posts related to the Art of Productive Loafing. It’s a talent I constantly re-teach to myself as well as to creative professionals and teams.
Others in the archived series:
You know you need sustained focus to execute big projects. And you’ve likely heard that distractions and daydreams, in good measure, can boon creative insights. A good dose of mind-wanderfulness aids mindfulness, and there are best rest practices for optimal productivity. But how do you mix the two? How do you sustain high focus & also let yourself get distracted? Sounds contradictory.
The key ingredient in this mix is meta-awareness – being aware of awareness – or Mirror Mind. First, your built-in sensor signals you when your attention wanes so you know when it’s time to diverge (“Okay! I’m getting exhausted! Okay, I can’t think anymore!”) . And then while distracted your built-in detector lets you capture the goldfish that float past the margins of your mind’s aquarium (“Hey! Cool! What was that?”).
In this short video ([3:12]), I offer you something that spontaneously arose while on one of my regular deliberate diversions outdoors. And then I explain my process, a process honed after reflecting upon my own and others’ experiences for the past few years and then corroborating it with the latest in the science of creativity.
Let me know what you think and how you finesse the mix between focus & daydream.
Thanks for running with me,