The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Next Idea Is Space Out

When was the last time you stood in a queue or sat on the bus and not taken out your phone to flip down your social feeds, be it Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook? And, if you can't remember or think about a certain time the past year, you need to think about consciously setting up a stage or time of your day where you actually do nothing, and get bored. Why? Because your best ideas come from your mind being free and unfocused, where it can run off to new areas of thought and consciousness and potentially release a new idea or concept for your next shoot or project. This video explains it in more detail. Pay attention to better not pay attention.

A couple of years ago I went to a talk held by Tiffany Slain, who just launched her movie called "Connected." It was a different take on the moviemaking process, as most of the footage used in the movie was from stock libraries. This opened up budgets and made it all possible to do. One of the things I remember was her saying that they got offline during the weekend. Meaning, they switch off all phones and laptops until Monday morning. This gave them time with their kids, but also allowed for time of reflection and thinking about new ideas. This might be a bit extreme for me, as I use Google Maps for navigation, and store my to-dos and people I meet. It's like an extension of myself. But, I do use my phone a lot more intently, and I also consciously put it away to open up my mind.

Ideas aren't going to come from anywhere other than your experiences. Looking out of a window might work, but in my experience, it happens when you're busy doing something else, waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting in the waiting room of your doctor's offices, or when I'm walking around the city. I try use the phone as a tool for being productive, and not for killing time.

Do you think our phones have swallowed up our time to think? Am I making a mountain out of an ants nest? And if you see it as a problem, how do you go about changing your habits? 

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash.

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1 Comment

Heratch Ekmekjian's picture

A very interesting point of view, we all seem to give short shrift to our own thoughts. I deal with the same problems with limited success. Although I've managed to avoid Social Media updates by keeping the apps off my phone, I still turn to the device for email and news. Nowadays my best "bored" thinking happens when I drive, alone, with the radio off.