Jessica eagerly began the Final Module of her English course. First assignment: Short Story. She grabbed a piece of paper and a pen to brainstorm the key elements. An hour later, Jessica sat staring blankly at her desk amidst a heap of crumpled papers. Disillusioned and frustrated, she decided to grab a snack and start again. The next hour was equally unproductive. With little accomplished and the the clock ticking, Jessica was feeling the stress of her deadline. The last thing crossing her mind was to leave her work and ‘move’ for a while. If only she had known that movement is a powerful tool for stimulating creativity! Getting up and simply going for a walk often works to produce “aha” moments.
In fact, when Nikola Tesla discovered the rotating magnetic field, one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time, he was walking through a park in Budapest (O’Neill 39-41).
Your head says: Time is running out. I need to stick with it and get it done.
Research says: Move and you’ll likely solve the problem faster.
When you are stuck and can’t solve the problem, walk away (literally), but don’t give up—the important part is coming back. Go for that walk, and you might just find yourself ‘unstuck’ and finishing your work in much less time than even you thought possible.
Reference: O’Neill, John J. Prodigal Genius: the Life of Nikola Tesla. Bottom of the Hill, 2012.
Linda Jones is a teacher in The Arts department at Virtual High School. She enjoys teaching music online and says that the technology available today is what makes learning and teaching music online so effective. Learn more about Ms. Jones here.