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The Best Time of Day to Be Creative? Not When You Think

Posted on  13 March 12  by 

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Do you remember that Seinfeld episode with the astronaut pen?  A pen that could write upside-down was such a great idea because Jerry often got stand-up ideas in the middle of the night and wanted to write them down without pivoting onto his elbow to make the pen work. 

And I think we all have had that experience—brilliant insights coming to us when we least expect them.  Well, a study released earlier this year may help explain why some of us strike gold in the morning (I remembered the Seinfeld episode on my morning walk), while others wish they had their own astronaut pen to write down the idea that hits in the middle of the night. 

When it comes to developing creative insights, the study found that self-described morning people are more creative at night, while night owls did better in the morning.  Although difficult to say exactly why this is the case, the authors postulate that being sleepy can create a vague brain that finds unlikely connections between seemingly unconnected ideas.  (explaining how I connected a 20+ year old TV clip to a creativity blog this morning)

Once you figure out your best time to be creative, use the 15 tools in our Insight Generation Toolkit to create and articulate new ideas.  But remember, although great ideas can come from a clouded state of mind, it’s always best to vet them when you are better able to focus.  And once you’ve confirmed the winners, use our communications skills resources to push them throughout the organization.

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Comments from the Network (1)

  1. Outliers & Observations » The Secret of Creativity
    on April 19, 2012
    Respond

    [...] The Best Time of Day to be Creative? Not When you Think [...]

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