Posted by: Liz Massey | August 31, 2013

Surf’s Up, Condensed: Top Creativity Links for August 31, 2013


Photo courtesy SXC.

Don’t Just Learn – Overlearn! | Annie Murphy Paul
Paul, a journalist, provides her take on a recent study by assistant professor Alaa Ahmed and two of her colleagues in the integrative physiology department at the University of Colorado-Boulder, which found that over-rehearsing a skill eventually helped the neural process underlying the skill far more efficient, even once there was no further visible improvements in the skill.

Paul speculates on what this might mean.

The brain uses up energy, too, and through overlearning it can get by on less. These gains in mental efficiency free up resources for other tasks: infusing the music you’re playing with greater emotion and passion, for example, or keeping closer track of your opponent’s moves on the other side of the tennis court. Less effort in one domain means more energy available to others.

Overall, the post underscores the value of deliberate practice.

The Jobless Innovation Era | Innovation Excelence
A bit of a wonky read, but this post walks readers through the reasons that our current business environment is not producing big breakthrough innovations that are also producing lots of new jobs. He bases much of his post on Professor Clayton Christensen’s essay “The Capitalist’s Dilemma” and offers ideas on how to chart a bolder, more productive way forward.

10 Treats To Keep Your Creativity Happy
A simple, upbeat reminder to reward your creative side on a regular basis with “treats” it can anticipate. As post writer Jessica Baverstock puts it:

Like dogs, dolphins and small children, Creativities perform well when coaxed into action by the promise of treats. Small outings or even a simple change of routine can replenish the creative well that keeps we Creativities functioning at our whacky best.

Some of my favorites on the list include a trip to the museum, visiting an inspiring friend and having a “do nothing” day.

10 Rules for Creative Projects from Iconic Painter Richard Diebenkorn

Debbie Millman, a friend of and frequent contributor to the always-interesting Brain Pickings site, has created a hand-lettered list of Diebenkorn’s ten rules for beginning a painting — which is a sort of manifesto that applies in various degrees and various dimensions to just about every creative or intellectual endeavor. My personal favorites on this list are …

3. Do search. But in order to find that other than what is searched for.

9. Tolerate chaos.

10. Be careful only in a perverse way.

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