A new study finds that our creative thinking might be most effective outside the time we consider our most optimal for work and thought. This finding seems to be related to our circadian rhythms.
The study, conducted by the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University, suggests that if we wish to do our best creative thinking, we should perform such tasks outside the time of the day when we consider we do our best work.
This means that if you are a morning person, do the work that requires focus and analysis like doing your taxes in the morning and do your problem solving and creative work at night. The oppposite is true for those who are more alert in the evening.
This seems counter-intuitive. However, it seems that the less focused we are, the more open we can be to other ideas and solutions. What often follows then is inspiration and insight, key ingredients to creative thinking.
So, if you're looking to write, paint, or solve a sticky problem, rethink the time of day when you might do your best work.