By Drake Baer via   Article

How Habits Make You Less Creative

“… habits are powerful for sculpting a highly productive life because they take away the transaction cost of launching into an action: There’s much less mental overhead to going for a run if you do it every morning versus once a fortnight. …

And yet while habits may make you more productive, … they can make you less creative, contending that if you trying to expand your skill set, you should break your routines, since ‘too much consistency inevitably leads to a plateau where weaknesses ossify and improvement becomes harder.’

… quoting from British author Arthur Koestler’s The Act Of Creation:

‘The skills of reasoning rely on habit, governed by well-established rules of the game; the ‘reasonable person’–used as a standard norm in English common law–is level-headed instead of multi-level-headed; adaptive and not destructive; an enlightened conservative, not a revolutionary; willing to learn under proper guidance, but unable to be guided by his dreams.’

The question, then, is really one of framing: what are we trying to do here? If we’re trying to produce as much as possible as fast as possible, habit seems to be useful. But … if we’re trying to make something new–as in, commit the act of heresy otherwise known as innovation–smartly breaking and experimenting with habits can be a way to prime creativity, since the creative act so often begins at the intersection of previously unrelated ideas.”


One Response to Multi-level-headed

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