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Feb 20, 2017

Wanna be creative? Then slow down and think more!

According to Lewis founder and CEO, Chris Lewis, we all need to slow down and make more time to think.

Only then, he says, can we be more creative.

Sadly, our lives are getting faster and faster. As a result, decision making has to be instant, and in our hyper-connected world, we are constantly distracted by email, notifications and a fascination in what our friends are doing on social media.

What this exposes is the ‘always-on’ world we now live in – an environment that is impacting our work culture, our personal lives and our ability to think and engage the right side of our brain.

The reality is we are all moving too fast and it’s the antithesis to creativity.

Speaking at the Holmes Report’s global PR summit in October, Provoke16, Chris was plugging his new book Too Fast To Think’ in a frank interview hosted by Dr Philippa Malmgren.

 

“We’re too busy, too overloaded with information and too focused on analytical left-brain thinking processes to actually be creative,” Chris said.

“As a result, despite us all being busier and more connected than ever, creativity is becoming more elusive. To reclaim the creative process and generate better ideas, we have to change what we’re doing.”

‘Too Fast To Think’ is a practical book that proposes a bunch of innovative solutions to do precisely what Chris prescribes – that is, how to retrain our brains to allow the creative ideas to emerge before we shut them down by everything else that is happening around us.

Chris says our over-rational brain dominates, if we allow it to do so, which means we then rely too much on assumptions and conventional wisdom to shape our thinking.

So, how do we engage our right brain and get into a creative thinking mode?

“Problem solving is creativity, it’s not left brain logical thinking,” said Chris.

“To be effective we have to be left and right brain and look across at what’s happening in other areas. We have to drill deeper and look wider. We have to challenge the conventional thinking that so often gets in the way.

“Our current work practices, media culture and education systems are detrimental to innovation. The speed and noise of modern life is undermining the clarity and quiet that is essential to power individual thought.

“To release our potential we have to take personal responsibility. It has to individual, not a top down mandate.

“Our best ideas will always be those that are generated when we’re free to think, in an uninterrupted environment, which is why moments of inspiration so often occur in places completely separate to our offices.

“I often have my best thoughts when I am in the rest room,” Chris said.

“Try to get more sleep, more peace and quiet time to reflect, even 30-45 mins a day is good.”

In concluding Chris said, “Don’t hop on your left foot if you can use your right foot. Get rid of the enemies and remove them from your day to day.

“Then, you can focus on the things you enjoy.

‘Too Fast To Think’ takes an holistic approach to explain eight crucial traits that are inherently linked to creation and innovation. Chris’ thoughts are informed and supported by research from the University of the Arts London and interviews with a range of business leaders, academics, artists, politicians and psychologists.

You can see Chris talk about his book here.