When you're trying to come up with creative ideas, it helps to have some input like reading a book or listening to music. However, you should also give yourself some time to digest your thoughts in silence.
Photo by jarito.
As business site Entrepreneur points out, creativity is easily derailed. You try to sit down to write or draw, your phone dings, and before you know it, you're neck deep in videos of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press. When it's time to generate creative ideas, turn off the gadgets and let yourself be in silence for a while:
Even if you will not admit it, you are probably addicted to your phone. The average American spends 12 hours per day consuming media, so even if you are slightly below average, you are still on your phone most of the time. For this exercise, put your phone in your car, outside or in the mailbox -- anywhere where the urge to check it is overcome by the fact that you have to put on shoes to go get it. Just get it out of your space for five minutes.
Turning off the gadgets is a helpful tool for focusing, but in this case it's also helpful even if you don't have a specific thing to work on. Your brain keeps going even when you're not bombarded by stimulus. The silence allows your thoughts to flow without being hijacked by the first red badge you see. If you never give yourself time to be quiet and think, you're probably not utilising your creativity to its fullest.