innovation | May 10, 2016

Maria Konnikova Links Procrastination to Creativity in Quartz

“You’re actually doing the smartest and most productive thing in the world if you waste time,” says author Maria Konnikova, as procrastinators everywhere breathe a collective sigh of relief. According to Konnikova, the best approach for a new creative assignment is to delay starting it for a while. In a recent Quartz article, the New Yorker psychology blogger and author of The Confidence Game weighs in on everyone’s favourite pastime—and shows how it’s actually more beneficial than we think.

Procrastination is helpful, says Konnikova, because it ensures you have perspective on your subject before you begin working. And at New York City’s 99U Conference, she made use of optical illusions to further this point. Those who took more time to assess the visual puzzles stood a better chance of seeing the hidden images.

So what’s the best way to procrastinate? Konnikova advises a purposeful long walk, free of any distractions—especially mobile devices. This downtime fuels fruitful, abstract thinking, and allows us to bring together previously unconnected ideas in novel ways. In fact, the well-documented connection between eliminating distraction and enhancing creativity is the subject of Konnikova’s brand-new keynote, “How to Be Bored.” The talk is a modern guide to recapturing your imagination, and will resonate with anyone overwhelmed by the growing presence of digital tech in our lives—that is to say, almost everyone.

To hear Maria Konnikova’s refreshing take on creativity and boredom, or to book other exciting innovation speakers like Scott Barry Kaufman or Welby Altidor, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau today.