How Does Time Spent in the Outdoors Contribute to Creativity?

By Debbie Hanson

Sep 15, 2014

Do you find yourself struggling to come up with new ideas when they used to seem to pop into your head fairly easily?

Do you find yourself struggling to come up with new ideas when they used to seem to pop into your head fairly easily? Do you need to think “out of the box” for an upcoming school or work project, but aren’t sure how to get your creative juices flowing again? You may want to start by planning a boating or fishing trip since time spent outdoors has been proven to help boost levels of creativity.

How exactly does time in the outdoors contribute to creativity? Here are three specific ways:

1. Time Outdoors Can Help Restore Brain Circuits

The human mind is extremely influenced by the type of environment we place ourselves in. This means that when you give your brain a break by disconnecting from a fast-paced environment that is driven by technology, such as cell phones and computers, it can help restore the prefrontal brain circuits that are associated with creativity. Even just a few hours spent fishing from a boat or shore can help your mind rest, relax and recharge.

2. Time Outdoors Can Improve Attention and Focus

More time spent outdoors participating in activities such as fishing and boating can also help improve attention span, focus, and cognitive achievement. Research has shown that children who learn new skills in outdoor settings display significant improvements in academic achievement, self-esteem, problem solving, creativity and motivation. This is just one more reason to learn how to tie a new fishing knot or practice a new boat navigation skill.

3. Time Spent Outdoors Can Free Up Mental Resources

Stress reducing activities like fishing and boating can help free your mind from everyday worries. When you are more relaxed as a result of your soothing outdoor experiences on the water, you will have more mental resources to lend towards productive thoughts that help to build on your creativity and imagination.

Have you taken a recent fishing or boating trip and experienced a higher level of creativity afterwards? If so, we want to hear your story! Log into the Take Me Fishing Community to leave a post in the online forum or comment with your personal experience on our Facebook page.
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.