Take time out to play with ideas. It’s good for your brain.

Posted on May 15, 2015


Working in the creative industry is a tough ask: All those lattes; having to play table football in the office for inspiration, the breakfast bar with free fruit (although that is good for the creative brain) and then beers at the end of a working day to unwind. Harsh conditions.

Even harsher is second-guessing what clients will and won’t buy. When you go into a pitch situation you really never know which route a client will go for. The creative route that you think is a nailed on winner is often the one they’ll reject – and for very rational reasons, although emotionally, you’re silently screaming “buy it, do it; this one will really stand out!”

That’s what the Chip Shop Awards recognise: Those rejected ideas. Rejected because they weren’t sensitive to internal or external context, or rejected just because they were, well in poor taste. Or it’s for those ideas that you were just too cowardly to pitch.

Now imagine a situation where you are your own client. You want to run a campaign for yourself, but the very idea you’ve had runs into legal problems. That’s something my firm faced when proposing its Leader in a Tank campaign – an alternative election poll based on selecting the leader that looked best in a tank. Well it worked for Maggie, and when it’s hard to tell the manifestos apart, you sometimes just have to imagine how good they’d look in a tank; with a baby; on a primary school chair etc.

But this is more than just a bit of fun. Encouraging people to go wild and play with ideas is good for the brain. It helps it regenerate. As does having good friends, engaging in socially worthwhile projects and being close to people who have a good lifestyle – habits are contagious. All this, according to Harvard’s Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP and Rudolph E. Tanzi helps point the brain in the right direction.

So, make a point to regularly take time out to play with ideas. It’s good for you.

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