Creativity and multi-tasking

In this TED video by Tim Harford, he discusses the theme of multi-tasking. How scientists will keep shifting topics, when one becomes stale, move onto another completely unrelated one. Often these wanderings and explorations can go onto to help develop each other. He says that if you study the 100 papers published by some scientists, they can change topics up to 40 times. Einstein got ‘stuck’ on his general theory of relativity, he then moved over to explore stimulated emission radiation (the basis of LASERs) and the went back to complete his theory of relativity.

So rather than forcing yourself to stay on one topic (we sometimes say to ourselves “I must focus!”), its ok to leave and move onto another area of interest and allow the mind to work sub-consciously. I often have a number of art projects on the go and am gradually coming to appreciate the power of leaving them and coming back to them, when the time is right. This one started as a huge nest, then was going to be a bumble bee dress and ended up as a piece of performance art, where I was weaving inside a wire chrysalis…


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