Trying to teach creativity is the
major hoax of our time.
BUILDING THE CREATIVE HABIT
FAILURE AND GETTING UNSTUCK
I don’t think design involves that much creativity. It
involves creativity in the way doing a crossword
puzzle involves creativity. You need some
imagination and knowledge. I think of artists as
creative because they have to invent something out
of nothing. I think designers design because they
can’t invent something out of nothing.
Imagination + Knowledge
Outside Constraints x Time
IF YOU WANT TO BE
SPEND MORE TIME
WITH THE PROBLEM.
When you ﬁrst start off trying to solve a problem, the
ﬁrst solutions you come up with are very complex,
and most people stop there. But if you keep going,
and live with the problem and peel more layers of
the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very
elegant and simple solutions.
THE THREE HARDEST PARTS
OF ANY CREATIVE PROJECT
2. KEEPING GOING
If you’re sitting around trying to dream
up a great art idea, you can sit there a
long time before anything happens.
But if you just get to work, something
will occur to you.
We don’t know where we get
our ideas from. What we do know is
that we don’t get them
from our laptops.
IF YOU WANT TO BE
YOU HAVE TO DO
It’s vital to establish some rituals—automatic but
decisive patterns of behavior—at the beginning
of the creative process, when you are most at
peril of turning back, chickening out, giving up,
or going the wrong way.
2014 STANFORD STUDY
Walking indoors or outdoors boosted creative
inspiration. The act of walking itself, and not the
environment, was the main factor. Creativity levels
were consistently and signiﬁcantly higher for those
walking compared to those sitting.
Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking
on Creative Thinking by Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz
All truly great thoughts
are conceived by walking.
It's your job to do things that make you
uncomfortable. That is how you gain wisdom. It is
your job to use everything you do as a learning
opportunity and to see how things are connected.
That is how you build creativity.
2015 SMART PHONE USE STUDY
Participants estimated an average of 37 uses
throughout the day, but the actual number
was around 85
“Beyond Self-Report: Tools to Compare Estimated and Real-World Smartphone Use,” Sally Andrews
2011 UVA STUDY
In 11 experiments involving more than 700 people,
the majority of participants reported that they found it
unpleasant to be alone in a room with their thoughts
for just 6 to 15 minutes.
The idea is that one day a week, you need to get
your mind in a different mode, you need to not work.
Every week, your brain—and your soul—needs
to be reset.
2016 STUDY ON
A high mental load consistently diminished the
originality and creativity of subjects’ responses
“Associative Activation and Its Relation to Exploration and Exploitation in the Brain,” Moshe Bar
2014 LEIDEN UNIVERSITY STUDY
The advantages of particular types of meditation
extend much further than simply relaxation. The
ﬁndings support the belief that meditation can have a
long-lasting inﬂuence on human cognition, including
how we think and how we experience events.
Meditate to create: the impact of focused-attention and open-monitoring training on convergent and
divergent thinking by Lorenza S. Colzato, Ayca Ozturk and Bernhard Hommel, '
HENRY DAVID THOREAU
It is the spirit in which you do a thing
which makes it interesting, whether it is
sweeping a room or pulling turnips.
IF THE TASK IS BORING,
MAKE THE WAY YOU DO
THE TASK INTERESTING.
I think designers who aren’t selﬁsh do
really awful work. I think there needs to
be a motivation at the core of the work.
There needs to be a motivation for the
designer to go beyond the point where
most people would stop.
The worst enemy