Shut Off Your Laptop, Boost Creativity

Creativity doesn’t usually occur while you’re screen-sucking.

To boost your number of creative ideas, you might consider getting away from your computer and introducing your brain to some new stimuli every now and then.

7 ways that work for me:

  1. Enjoy coffee at a cafe (without iPhone, iPad, or laptop).
  2. Take a walk outside.
  3. Play ball with my dogs.
  4. Listen to music.
  5. Read fiction.
  6. Talk with another human about Stuff That Matters.
  7. Take a nap.

Those are some of my ways of boosting creativity. You will have your own. Just try to do something  that doesn't involve the Internet.

To quote John Cleese: “We don’t know where we get our ideas from. We do know that we do not get them from our laptops.”

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • Denise zimmerman

    Sir, I did do something other than be on computer today. I cleaned my house. I talked to my neighbor who was having problems. When I don't Sleep I am on here and listing to music. I enjoy being on my computer this is the only way I can communicate right now. Please understand.
    Thank You.

  • Mia

    Oh yeah, this is great…. it's not yet light this morning and I was thinking pretty much the same thing while indulging in a practice I call “staring time”, which can be accomplished by a lake or a range of mountains, but if none of those are handy it works just as well just sitting alone at home. What matters is that not we're not staring at a computer screen or other electronic device. Much good has come to me from staring at nature and at nothing. Thanks for the reminder, Ray. It's a keeper!

  • I like the coffee shop idea too. I ride my motorcycle to the cafe (the long way) but I take a journal like the one found here:

    The journal allows me to capture ideas. I think it was Earl Nightengale that talked about taking a yellow notepad writing your problem across the top and spending one hour per day writing down ways to overcome the problem or challenge.

  • F.J. Shark

    Napping is the new breakfast of champions.

  • Very true! Yesterday I was struggling with a new workshop offering. I had tickets to the WNBA basketball game here in Seattle (the finals!) and during the game I figured out what I needed. The copy practically wrote itself. AND we won the game with a lucky 2-point shot.

  • Soumitra

    I do “Zeroing” . That is : Getting away from my identities. It is not trying in fact. Getting away from “Trying” to do something.

    That is doing ''Nothing''

    Just sit quietly for 3 times a day , before having breakfast , lunch , dinner , 15 mins each , all gadgets switched off. All identities too.

    Be in :

    Nothing to do
    Nowhere to go
    Nothing needs to happen

    Don't even care for creativity, it may / may not come , just leave , let go !

  • Here are some of the ways I get my creativity going (some are the same as yours):

    1. Take a bath

    2. Go for a run

    3. Build stuff with Knex (I've built myself a desk, a tripod for my camera, a file organizer, a “bookshelf” for all my DVDs & I'm currently working on a nightstand)

    4. Listen to music while gardening (got a big garden and it always seems to need work anyway)

    5. Go for a drive

    6. Talk with another human about Stuff That Matters

    7. Take a nap

    I don't drink coffee & unfortunately I don't currently have a dog (though when I'm visiting my brother I play ball with his dog), but I do a lot of similar things and a few things that I do that most other people wouldn't (like build stuff with Knex). Like you said, you just gotta try doing stuff that doesn't involve the internet (or other technology).

    I'm actually planning a weekend where my brother, best friend & I are going to just go out into the wilderness with backbacks containing some basic equipment and we're just going to go and build ourselves a shelter and stay out in the wilderness for a few days with no technology.


  • I find I can be creative in some cases while using my laptop, but for the most part it's only when I'm doing some mind mapping and nothing else, ideally with no internet connection.

    Generally, I'm most creative when I just take a pencil and notebook to my local coffee shop or some other place away from my office and start writing.

    I'd like to say I have lots of creative ideas while I'm exercising at the gym every morning, but it's been a while since that actually happened. Maybe that will be a good motivator to get me back 🙂