If you’re trying to do creative work, you’ll actually have more luck when you’re more tired and your brain isn’t functioning as efficiently.
If you’re tired, your brain is not as good at filtering out distractions and focusing on a particular task. It’s also a lot less efficient at remembering connections between ideas or concepts. These are both good things when it comes to creative work, since this kind of work requires us to make new connections, be open to new ideas and think in new ways. So a tired, fuzzy brain is much more use to us when working on creative projects.
This Scientific American article explains how distractions can actually be a good thing for creative thinking:
Insight problems involve thinking outside the box. This is where susceptibility to “distraction” can be of benefit. At off-peak times we are less focused, and may consider a broader range of information. This wider scope gives us access to more alternatives and diverse interpretations, thus fostering innovation and insight.
Research participants were nearly twice as likely to give the correct response to a complex decision-making problem if they were distracted by a simple three-minute number-matching task before being asked for their answers, says a team led by Marlène Abadie of the University of Toulouse in France. A more-demanding distraction had no such effect: Participants had a 75% chance of giving the right answer after the easy task, but just a 40% chance after a tougher task or if there was no distractor at all. During an easy distraction, the brain seems to unconsciously enhance the memory of a problem’s essence, the researchers say.
Do you offer beverages to your prospects and clients? In our offices we have what we call the Star Buzz where people can serve themselves of different beverages.
We have cold and hot beverages. Maybe we’ll change the options.
John Bargh of Yale found that the temperature of a beverage makes a difference in how one person judges another. The brain imaging studies show that hot and cold stimuli light up an area of the brain related to trust and cooperation.
The warm beverages affect our perception of other people and our own behavior as well.
According to Bargh, “Physical warmth can make us see others as warmer people, but also cause us to be warmer, more generous and trusting as well”.