Boost creativity by interweaving action sequences

Do you have a porous thalamus? Skewed dopamine receptor ratios? Thinner than average grey matter, and white matter of questionable integrity? If so, congratulations, you were born with a creative brain. Sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? But why let the genetic freaks have all the fun? The loosened associative neural processes that produce the novel connections and useful insights we define as creativity can be artificially induced. Interweaving your action sequences lets your body send sensory information through the thalamus in a pattern that mimics the structural pathways of an innately creative brain, allowing anyone to engineer their own eureka breakthroughs.

process diagram sketchBy physically interweaving your daily action sequences (e.g. combining three chores into one), you can imitate the porous information filtration of a creative brain’s thalamus, as well as its rather non-committal white connective circuitry. Comparatively disjointed associations will be simultaneously activated by the interwoven feed of sensory information as it bounces between loosely connected attentions/tasks. Novel connections will appear through this jumble and can be vetted as to their potential to contribute to a useful solution to a final related, or sometimes surprisingly unrelated, goal.

Ok, let’s get to work. Follow along with the (rather roughly) sketched process diagram (above) to get an idea of how to incorporate this creativity boosting exercise into your own life.golf equipment storage design In this example, doing all three tasks concurrently brings a new relationship to light. The end goal of organizing the golf equipment strewn around the living room (don’t ask!) is, by comparison, quite similar to putting away the groceries and laundry. Both latter tasks have a dedicated, compartmentalized storage unit and involve the process of ‘grouping and condensing’. Aha!! How about designing a hall closet golf caddy to fulfill the same role for errant golf equipment! Now if only injection molding and marketing were so simple!

After practicing this exercise, your brain will become accustomed to jumping between attentions while maintaining an underlying focus map of multiple concurrent tasks. Which is to say, seeing the dishtowels in a pile of clean laundry may soon prompt the thought cascade of kitchen, grocery bags, golf equipment… This underlying multiple focus is itself a neural model of how an extended metaphor/theme weaves its way into a creative person’s work. The layered themes of Shakespeare’s Hamlet are a perfect example. And I know I’m risking the wrath of dendrite action potential purists here, but the best way to describe this phenomenon is that, once activated, these associative areas may stay quietly ‘lit’ and be more easily accessed during (near) future conscious and unconscious musings. Ah yes, the sweet beauty of brain priming.

8 thoughts on “Boost creativity by interweaving action sequences

  1. Dear Cymbria,

    Your blog coming as we dismantle 500 years of packing a house like a suit-case is oddly refreshing!

    • Happy to serve as a distraction… a role infinitely less taxing than Tetris packing two lifetimes into a single cross-country suitcase~
      Courage dear Felsian warriors!! My love to you all!!

  2. The plus side is that if it doesn’t work immediately as a device for prodding lateral thinking, you still get household brownie points.:-) I often wander off and do something like housework (tidying) by way of unlocking ideas. It’s amazing what floats in, idly, often in unexpected ways.

    • Completely agree! Gotta love the ol’ ‘incubation period’ for any creativity dependent thought experiment. It’s so fascinating how the brain is noodling away on all kinds of projects beneath our conscious attention. Although, I can honestly say I’ve never come up with anything even remotely innovative while cleaning the bathroom – the shear horror of the task (or maybe the toilet cleaner fumes) always involves a complete cranial shutdown.

    • Thank you so much! What an honour 🙂 I’m so excited you were inspired by this post. So I guess, since us two gals were both, even if indirectly, inspired by housework this must mean hell hath officially frozen over lol …ps Love your blog!

      • Haha it definitely has! I love reading your blogs. 🙂 Aw thank you I need to find more time to post though! Trying to work on my first book and I find myself stuck a lot of the time! Working full time gets in the way lol

        • I hear you. I so hear you! I’m totally in the same boat, trying to complete a first book while working full time (rolling paper – don’t ask… sigh). It’s so frustrating. But here I am blogging while at said full time job, so maybe I shouldn’t really be bitching about it lolz. Personally, I like to think of blogging as ‘productive procrastination’ – at least that’s what I keep telling myself~

          Keep pushing!

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