Why Procrastination Can Help Fuel Creativity

Loizos Heracleous and David Robson: There are many reasons why a period of incubation could lead to new and inventive insights. According to one of the leading theories, it depends on the power of the unconscious mind: when we leave our task, the brain continues to look for solutions below awareness, until a solution pops out. Just as importantly, a period of incubation allows us to gain some psychological distance from our task. When you spend a long time focusing on one problem, you can become fixated on certain obvious solutions. A period of incubation should help you to widen your mental focus so that you can make connections and come back to the problem with a new perspective. Intriguingly, incubation may work best when your mind is distracted with an engaging but relatively easy task, so that it is given just enough room to wander freely.

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