Why creativity falls to the bottom of your To Do List
Productivity has seeped into all that we do - creativity is how we can change it.
DD HQ here. Does being creative often fall to the bottom of your prioritization list?
You can be honest (we get it 😅). Let us guess: After all of your emails are answered, all your chores are done, all your Netflix shows are watched - then and only then can you allow yourself to be creative.
It’s an interesting conundrum, from our POV especially. Even though creativity is often prioritized last in our modern world, it’s the root of our human existence.
Not only does our creative brain drive our ability to ask ‘What if…’ and be open to new experiences, ideas + opportunities - it is what makes life worth living. It helps us find meaning during times of chaos, lessen anxiety about uncertain futures, and find a common thread between all of humanity.
Okay, okay we’ll get off our soapbox + back down to reality 🛸
But listen: if you’ve been part of the DD crew for a while, you know that reframing creativity into a core need rather than a luxury has been our main mission for a while. This week, we want to look at it from a different perspective: why we collectively have a hard time prioritizing things that make us feel good, rather than achieve more.
It comes down to one word: guilt.
Arthur Brooks has a fascinating perspective on life’s hamster wheel: “Part of the reason many people resist leisure, no doubt, is that we have been taught to monetize our time. As Americans, we’ve heard throughout our lives: time is money. We may work to have leisure time, but actually spending that earned time feels like forgoing wages.”
So much so that since COVID we’ve increased our average work day by 49 minutes.
This conundrum is a symptom of a larger (and longer) problem than just the past few years. Keyes was talking about this way of existing back in 1930: “…There is no country and no people … who can look forward to the age of leisure and of abundance without a dread. For we have been trained too long to strive and not to enjoy.”
Bottom line: we modern humans have been trained to struggle with slowing down.
We’ve seen this interesting trend play out with DD Early Access Members, Tiktok commenters (ha) and regular folks alike. At first, when they’re introduced to the idea that creativity is a core human superpower and foundational element of our well-being, they’re liberated.
But sometimes, it can evolve into a means-to-an-end: How can I make my bed more creatively? How can I answer my emails faster using creative flow? How can I use creativity to achieve more?
At DD, it’s our goal to create just for fun. To get off life’s hamster wheel using our creative brains. And, the coolest part? Creative expression is an easy + natural way to unwind our productivity mindset. It allows us not just enjoy our leisure time, but imagine a new future.
We don’t need to sit in silence in order to buck the system. We can use our creative brains to feel better, and be in forward motion - for good. With us?
Katina + Dupi
and the entire team @ DD HQ
An idea to noodle on 💭
Creativity doesn’t need to be a reward
THINK ON THIS: If creating without an ‘end goal’ feels uncomfortable, try framing it as ‘soft fascination.’ Research shows that when we engage in leisure-filled practices like going on a brainstorm walk or noticing beauty, we rejuvenate our brain. Reminds us of high-quality vs low-quality leisure!
…MAYBE NOT THAT: Creative expression isn’t the top of Maslow’s hierarchy (and plus, that’s outdated anyway). Our human needs aren’t linear and neat; in fact, they’re much more dynamic. Even more, ‘self-actualization’ and autonomy are core elements of motivation in countless studies. So, prioritizing creativity + meaning-making is core to well-being.
Inside our brains at DD HQ 🧠
This might be the literal best leisure-filled combination (J Balvin x our favorite childhood game - Monopoly?!). Our team was 👀 (read: horrified?!) by the productivity-measurements companies are taking. We love how ‘the Internet’s best friend’ is making talking ab mental health as regular as the weather. Using our visual perception to turn our goals into reality is backed by science - this Huberman Labs podcast episode on goal-setting is 🔥
Ideas from the DD Crew 🛸
"I've always been focused on trying to maximize my output at both work and in my recreational activities. Daydreamers enabled me to sit and create for hours on end - a form of leisure and recovery I didn't know the extent of which I needed."
Matt, DD Early Access member 🧠