A New Year’s Resolution to Disconnect for Creativity

I have read many articles the last few days on resolutions, but two from the New York Times have struck a chord with me in particular.

Nick Bilton resolved to spend 30 minutes a day without his iPhone. The primary rationale that I could relate to was the lack of time to daydream. He quotes neuroscientist Jason Lehrer as saying, “Our brains often needed to become inattentive to figure out complex issues.”

Another opinion piece by Pico Iyer on “The Joy of Quiet” over the holiday said most of us only get three minutes of uninterrupted time in an average work day when we sit at our desk and can think quietly.

These two things combined made me realize if we want to be more creative and solve problems quicker, the key may be in my fingertips and in disconnecting from my multiple keyboards a bit more. Quiet time to think, enjoy the sunset, or mull over a problem without checking Twitter or email in between has become a luxury.

I’m not sure when the switch took place, but becoming aware of making time to think and problem-solve in a disconnected state is something I can relate to. As a company, we are very focused on creativity and coming up with breakthrough ideas, but are we setting aside the time for ideas to marinate?

So, if you don’t get an immediate response from me in the new year, assume I am problem-solving and not slacking off. Scheduling that time is now part of my own resolution.

Barri Rafferty is Ketchum’s former CEO and current head of communications at Wells Fargo.