The Secret to Turning Distractions into Creative Gold

The secret to turning your distractions into unstoppable creativity may surprise you. And make you happier, too. 

Do you notice, well, everything? Are you inexplicably drawn to one thing, then led to another? Feel sometimes scattered and unproductive?  This is the power and the plight of the Attuned Creative.

If this is you, you're in good company. These traits are seen in extremely creative people, and on the challenging side, sometimes those of us with ADHD.  Leonardo daVinci, a prolific creative genius, felt frustrated because he had a hard time finishing projects.  Recently, researchers from King's College London and the University of Pavia in Italy concluded that his issues with time management, concentration and procrastination could be attributed to ADHD.

Want more peace and productivity?

Embrace Your Awareness

Your awareness is a gift. Develop it. Be grateful for it. And make it work for you.

When your attention is turned on and tuned, your creativity is fluid and effortless. You can connect your experiences and make discoveries that have been hiding in plain sight.  You're able to transmute the ordinary into something spectacular. To everyone else, it seems like alchemy. To you, just another day.

Attuned Creativity is Born from Human Experience

It all starts with paying attention.  To the big things, the little things, the annoying things, and things that make us feel good, too.  Throw in a little curiosity and/or a need, and you could have the makings for creative gold. When you start noticing, you have the seeds for genius in your back pocket. When a need arises, you can train your brain to click into noticing mode.

A few examples of Attuned Creativity at work: 

Post-It Notes

Arthur Fry needed something to keep bookmarks in place in his hymnal as he sung in the choir. And remembered a low tack adhesive at work.


George de Mestral noticed cockleburs on his dog and his pants while hunting. He was curious how they stayed attached and curious how this could be useful. 


Pierre Omidyar realized classified ads weren't working to sell his fiancee's Pez dispensers. He wondered if the internet could be better.


Steve Job noticed details and how humans interact with things. He transformed an entire industry of utilitarian technology with attention to good design.

Reflection is the Alchemical Key for Attuned Creativity


Reflection allows you to pull it all together.  And it requires something you're already good at doing:  noticing. Simply noticing a feeling or a challenge can give you the space to think about it objectively, with curiosity and wonder.  It's easiest when you quiet your mind and gets better with practice. 

You can create order out of chaos and transform distractions into building blocks for creativity.  When you notice and then take a step back, you're able to see previously unseen connections and integrate disparate ideas into something new. Like magic.

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things." - Steve Jobs

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You and Steve Jobs share this creative style. 

You have a detailed approach with acute awareness of feeling and emotion. Insights and ah-ha moments come about from reflection.  Innovation happens when you connect the dots of variety of experiences that you value.  You create things and experiences that connect emotionally with attention to detail.  Attuned creatives pay attention to everything.

Key words:  aware, responsive, emotional, deliberate, attentive, sensual, reflective

5 Simple Steps to Boost Your Attuned Creativity

1.  explore

2. notice

3.  sense

4.  question

5.  meditate

This creative style activates the pre-frontal cortex (deliberate connections, focus) and cingulate cortex (complex feelings about feelings, emotions and interactions) at the same time.

Tips:   Appreciate that you're multi-passionate.  Practice mindfulness and meditation for better focus.  Look at the big picture. Notice the details.  Allow yourself quiet time.  Consider how and why things bring you joy even if they seem small and insignificant.  Do something different:  travel, get out of your routine.  Collaborate.  Explore new materials, things and processes that are used for something entirely different.

What kinds of things grab your attention the most?  What helps you to be productive and peaceful?