Or, how Detective Grissom helps me write blog posts.
Certain groups of people like to dump on watching TV.
Maybe you’ve read somewhere that watching TV fries your brain cells, steals time from the productive stuff you could be doing, and dooms you to a life of failure and mumbling idiocy.
You know the drill.
I once had a roommate who wouldn’t enter the room when the TV was on, for fear its evil tractor beam would pull him in and subject him to subliminal mind control.
I look at TV more pragmatically. I’m of the opinion that none of us can be “on” 100% of the time. We need down time, a little time to decompress. An hour of good TV can do that.
Sometimes, I like to flip the switch on the day. I like to sit down to a good episode of CSI Las Vegas (before Grissom left . . .)
There, I admitted it.
Have all those accumulated TV hours over the years stolen from my productivity? Could I have been doing more productive things rather than passively watching the flickering screen? Maybe.
But is that the only consideration?
I get some great ideas from TV. I hear things that fuel a blog post, or an idea for a product or program, sometimes from the commercials.
Maybe it’s all about the intention we bring to whatever we do, including TV?
If we’re “using” TV to dull the anxiety or put off dealing with stuff, then it can be detrimental, I guess.
But hey, what do I know; I’m not a certified mental health professional. That would be Dr. Sweet’s job.
How TV can fire up your creativity
Here are just a few thoughts about creativity and productivity in general that have worked for me. Your mileage may differ.
1. Change Your Perspective
I think and write for a living. I do most of that in front of a computer monitor. (Think TV fries brain cells? Try sitting in front of a monitor all day “trying to be creative.”)
I will leave my screen, and change my scenery. What follows is often fresh perspective, new approaches.
Even as I watch Detective Grissom solve crimes, my brain is still churning in the background pondering the creative problem of the moment. And sure enough, one of Grissom’s wise asides will spur a new approach, a thought I wouldn’t have considered without the change of venue. He’s even helped me write a blog post or two.
2. Read Something Outside your Current Focus
Same principle applies with books, or magazines, or blogs – with a twist.
I might be lost in the weeds with a thorny issue, and I’ll pick up a copy of Fast Company magazine or scan my bookshelves for a completely unrelated title.
I’ve gotten great insight or solutions from business models completely different than my own as discussed in business magazines.
Of course you won’t always solve a directly-related problem. I’ve picked up some great ideas for future posts or products from books completely unrelated to whatever I’m over-thinking in the moment. I’ll jot them down in my “percolating ideas” notebook, and return to the problem at hand, my brain refreshed by an exciting discovery.
What’s your creative inspiration?