The Power of 15

You know what Americans say when you ask how they are?

(If you said fine, you’re so ten years ago).

The new answer is busy.

I say it, too, because it’s true. I’m busy. You’re busy. All God’s (American) children are busy.

The question I’ve been asking for a long time: How do I maintain the mental margin needed to foster creativity when there’s something to do every minute of the day?

monochrome photography of woman standing at the subway
Photo by √örsula Madariaga on

Then I noticed something.

Most days, I find myself with the odd chunk of time, a snippet of dead space where I could be getting something done, but I just don’t want to. Lately, instead of feeling guilty that I’m not being ultra-productive, I’ve been staring off into space, if only for 10-15 minutes. I don’t look at my phone or check email. I don’t try to fit in a little reading. I sure as heck don’t try to work on my book.

I just daydream.

It’s sort-of saving my life. I find I have more peace and clarity on days when I give myself this kind of mini-break. I can tap into my creative side more easily when it’s time to write or edit. Often, my ideas are queued up, just waiting for me to implement them.

In short, letting my brain wander for 10-15 minutes has paid big creative dividends, so I’m not planning on ditching this “wasted” time any time soon.

What about you? Do you have a few minutes you can afford to “squander” by letting yourself do nothing but think?

I hope you do.