Engaging article in Lapham’s Quarterly by Sven Birkerts on the pleasures of idleness - http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/essays/the-mother-of-possibility.php .
One of the benefits he teases out in his essay is that idleness is the place where new thoughts, new ideas, new connections are born. Over perhaps a quarter of a century I have asked hundreds (maybe thousands) of people when and where they are at their most creative. After a pause to consider, they most often come up with a situation adjacent to being idle – walking, falling asleep, in the shower, driving their car, daydreaming and so on. A couple of weeks ago, someone came up with “riding my motor-bike”.
There is definitely a connection between being distant from a problem one has been grappling with, in a situation where one’s brain is freewheeling, and having a solution pop up, apparently uninvited. Rarely do people mention watching TV, or working at the computer, or using their mobile devices as places where creativity happens. Perhaps there’s just not enough white space available.
Of course, the nexus between daydreaming and creativity is territory explored by Robert Louis Stevenson, Lewis Carroll, JM Barrie and many others.
How does being personally creative intersect with the pressurised contemporary life at work? Not easily.