Gone are the days when people would secure a job that barely required soft skills. In the 21st century, however, you need a set of soft skills to survive and thrive in the market. Productivity and creativity are two indispensable skills for the current competitive market. So, you need to be productive and creative to be distinct in a crowd of workers and to lead the competition.
Despite the importance of these skills in today’s job market, most of us struggle with maintaining productivity and sparking creativity. The solution to both these problems lies in one word: solitude. According to Cambridge Dictionary, solitude is the situation of being alone, often by choice. Solitude not only helps you to increase your productivity but also sparks your creativity.
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To begin with, solitude sparks your creativity
Creativity is one of the four C’s of the 21st century. According to an article published by World Economic Forum, creativity is the topmost soft skill required to get hired in the 21st-century workforce. In order to ignite creativity, you need solitude. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Buffalo stated that unsociable students (those who preferred solitude as a choice) were more creative than those who felt shy or avoided meeting people. If we see great literary men and women, they produced masterpieces while in solitude.
For example, Jane Austen, a well-known English novelist, would live in the countryside surrounded by people. She watched closely the lives of her classmates and wrote about them. She used to write her novels in a little room. That lonesome spot spurred her imagination, and she created classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and others, which are still read with great enthusiasm and performed with great talent.
In addition to sparking creativity, solitude augments your productivity because you can produce great work only when you are focused. In his famous book, Deep Work, Cal Newport reported that psychiatrist Carl Jung built a retreat in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen where he would be all alone for days at length. The purpose of his solitude was to study extensively and prove his disagreements with a renowned psychologist, Sigmund Freud. As a result of his work in solitude, Carl Jung not only became one of the most prominent intellectuals of the twentieth century but also established a new school of thought named analytical psychology.
Some may argue that spending time all alone can be hazardous as it can increase anxiety and depression. The problem with this argument is that it refers more to loneliness, and not solitude. Author Hara Estroff Marano in her article, What is Solitude? writes that solitude is different from loneliness in that loneliness is negative because of isolation whereas solitude is constructive when one engages with one’s own self. Since solitude is a positive state of mind often adopted by choice, you can benefit from this in numerous ways.
To put it in a nutshell, there is a lot of buzz in the modern world. In the midst of all the noise, productivity and creativity become impossible to reach. Solitude is the most suitable solution to increase productivity and stimulate creativity. This can be validated not only through the examples of great writers, scientists, or philosophers but also through the results of scientific studies. So, let there be moments of solitude in your busy lives, no matter how few. You will do wonders.
The writer is a Lecturer in English at Sukkur IBA University. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy.