As social beings, humans prefer to communicate with one another. Although this is important we should also learn how to embrace the idea of solitude. For introverted people, spending time alone is fairly easy. For extroverted individuals, it proves to be a rather difficult task. In this article, I will be discussing why solitude is essential for a human being. I will mainly focus on how it can benefit productivity and also creativity.
Solitude helps with productivity
Spending time and socializing with others is important but it won’t help you be productive. This happens because when you hang out with other people, you usually focus more on them, rather than on what you’re doing. Apart from that you get distracted all the time by what is happening at the moment.
Not being surrounded by others goes a long way when we want to be productive. When we spend time in a quiet place, it’s easier to think and focus on our work. This happens because external factors, such as people talking or environmental noises don’t influence our brain. Therefore it can fully concentrate on what we’re working on.
A study conducted by the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning of the University of Sidney shows just how essential solitude is in the office. Two groups of employees took part in this study. One group worked in an environment that made it possible to communicate with others. The other operated in a more enclosed setting. The results showed that the first environment made it easier for the co-workers to interact. It also made team-work more efficient. The second one outperformed in the case of privacy and proxemics, helping the workers be more productive.
Solitude helps the creative process
Being alone truly helps your mind when you want to start thinking about exciting and never before seen ideas that would impress the world. That’s why most of the successful artists tend to spend their work time in a peaceful location (e.g. a cabin in the woods).
Rachel Astarte, psychotherapist, certified life coach and author of Celebrating Solitude says, and I quote, that solitude “is this clarity of mind that allows us to open ourselves to the vastness of possibility”. By that, she means that our brain, during solitude, has the possibility to freely explore the realm of creativity without being distressed at all.
A study conducted by The Department of Psychology of the State University of New York shows that creativity can be a benefit of solitude. The study was carried out with the help of 192 adults who completed “self-report measures”. Those measures evaluated their motives behind concepts such as social withdrawal, creativity, aggression, anxiety and so on. The results of the study showed that social withdrawal could be associated with boosted creativity.
As you can see, the embrace of solitude can be quite useful for our creativity and our work. So next time when you’ll start working on your tasks it might not be such a bad idea to distance yourself from others.