How many times have you churned your mind over and over to come up with a solution to a problem? And how many times have you found that taking your eye off of the proverbial ball, actually helps you to see the ball more clearly so you can hit it out of the park? This happens to me all the time. I read a lot of articles and books about the science behind creativity – it’s one of my favorite subjects to study – and from the research it appears to be true for many people.
So if we know that letting go of a problem will actually help us solve it, why do we hang on so tightly? Why do we have a problem relaxing and trusting in the process in which creativity works most effectively? It could be that we’re worried that while relaxation has helped us solve problems in the past, it will somehow fail us this time. It could also be that we are programmed in this society to believe that hard work equals self-worth. Without working hard, at every moment possible, will we somehow be less worthy?
I actually love to work hard. I love the feeling of accomplishment, of feeling like my effort matters. But here’s what I don’t love – the mania that comes from having a schedule that is so ridiculously packed that I have to remind myself to breathe. To balance this tug-of-war, I break projects apart into phases and give myself what I need in each phase to do my best work.
When I am working on the creative portion of a project, I give myself downtime to solve problems. I do trust the process of creativity, but I also give myself some guidelines. I get a few hours of downtime here and a few there, and I keep checking in with myself regularly to see if any new inspiration has arrived. When I am in the implementation phase and need to get something built, I really focus to give myself more structure and less downtime so I can do a lot of work while I’m in the groove.
Like anything, it comes back to needing balance – give both sides of your brain the opportunity to strut their stuff. They need different fuel because they do different types of work. If you’re taking too much downtime, or not giving yourself enough, try switching it up and see what happens. Creativity is all about experimentation.
The short of it:
Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day.
The long of it:
My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events.
While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series.
A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist.
I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media:
• I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference;
• I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable;
• I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me.
Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.
View all posts by Christa Avampato
2 thoughts on “Leap: A Balance of Work and Play Leads To Our Best Creations”
The synchronicity of this post is amazing because in meditation class last night we were talking about a balanced life and balancing between optimum anxiety and self soothing activities.
This is something that resonates strongly with me now. It is a perfect reminder to me to balance work and play. As I work with my own creativity, I find that inspiration always comes when I can be still and quiet. Thank you for your posts. They are always inspirational!