The one sentence summary

If you want to be creative, remove yourself from technological distractions and give yourself time to think diffusely.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS too-fast-to-think

  • This is all about reclaiming your creativity when constantly engulfed in an ‘always on’ work culture.
  • Modern work practices, media culture and education systems are detrimental to innovation, because our best ideas are often generated when we are free to think diffusely, in an uninterrupted environment.
  • Noise upon noise doesn’t work – an environment described as creating a soufflé in a storm.
  • The author outlines 8 creative traits: Quiet, Engage, Dream, Relax, Release, Repeat, Play, and Teach.
  • There are interesting phases in the learning cycle:

Unconscious incompetence: high confidence (unaware of incompetence)

Conscious incompetence: low confidence (aware of it)

Conscious competence: medium confidence (aware they are competent)

Unconscious competence: high confidence (unaware of it, and in flow)

  • The four stages of creativity are induction (spend 40% of time on this), incubation (30%), inspiration (20%), and ignition (10%).
  • The old notion of left and right brain is now pretty much disproved – both sides work in concert on a range of tasks.
  • There is a stigma in society about left-sidedness – the word left comes from the Anglo Saxon ‘lyft’ meaning weak.


  • Hurry sickness is a behaviour pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency. This creates the illusion of speed, but actually takes longer than a more considered, orderly approach.
  • The rise of email has led to telephonobia, in which calling someone is avoided, let alone meeting up. Ping pong ring is a good mnemonic – if an email conversation is getting bogged down, break the deadlock with a call.
  • People often behave differently on the web and show toxic inhibition. They think ‘you don’t know me’, ‘you can’t see me’, ‘see you later’, ‘it’s all in my head’, ‘it’s just a game’, or ‘your rules don’t apply here’.
  • “There comes a point where we need to just stop puling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out who’s pushing them in.” Desmond Tutu
  • “Our lives are frittered away by detail; simplify, simplify. Concentrate on a small number of things and do them well. Is this relevant? Everything is too long.” Henry David Thoreau
  • “The best things in life happen to you when you’re alone.” Agnes Martin


  • Not much. There is lots of thought-provoking stuff here.