Advertising
Advertising

Science Reveals The Best Time To Do Amazingly Creative Work

Science Reveals The Best Time To Do Amazingly Creative Work

If you regularly put time and effort into becoming more creative, this post is for you. If your boss or supervisor has commented that they’d love for you to work on your creative skills, this post is even more for you. If you’re an artist, musician, writer, filmmaker, poet, or any other kind of self-identified creative individual, this post is most definitely for you.

We love learning how to be more creative. Creativity remains one of the most highly valued assets in the workplace. Companies are pushing recruiters and HR staff harder than ever to find candidates who can think differently. Businesses want problems solved more efficiently and more quickly, and creative thinking is arguably the most effective way to conquer problems.

Advertising

Despite all this, how does creativity as a skill (and the fostering of it) remain so utterly elusive? At least, that’s what it seems like. If you were born and raised in a developed country, chances are you were educated through more traditional models. That is to say, standardized testing and rigid classroom structures were more often the rule, not the exception.

Creative Thought Increases Value Everywhere

It’s no secret that STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes and majors are prioritized and glamorized over others. These jobs almost unequivocally pay more than jobs relating to arts and literature, history, education, and psychology. Even healthcare jobs don’t always compete salary-wise with STEM-related jobs.

Advertising

Now, I’m not saying careers involving STEM proficiencies are bad. I’m simply illustrating that career paths not traditionally associated with “creative” or “artsy” thinking even value the leverage of creativity, when all is said and done.

At the end of the day, creativity seems to win universal acclaim. So, let’s cut to the chase and learn when you’re most apt to produce your most creative work. Are all the myths about creativity true?

Advertising

The Secret To Optimal Creativity

Believe it or not, doing your best creative thinking is most likely to happen when you’re tired. I know, I know; this information pretty much flies in the face of conventional wisdom, especially in regards to hard work. Most people recommend getting up early in the day, getting to your workspace, making sure your desk is well-lit, and hammering away at your craft. These are fantastic recommendations for productivity, but it turns out they aren’t exactly ideal for optimal creativity.

Researchers Mareike Wieth and Rose Zacks conducted a study in which they first determined the peak cognition times of their subjects. The research subjects were given a simple test that determined whether they considered themselves “morning” people or “evening” people. This test provided information on when an individual’s cognition and focus are clearest. This was later referred to in the research as one’s “peak time.” An “off-peak time” was, naturally, the opposite time at which someone’s intellectual function was most driven.

Advertising

Zacks and Wieth found when we’re at our peak time, our brains are able to more efficiently filter out distractions and get work done. As the day draws near an end (or more appropriately, as we reach our off-peak time), our brains are not able to operate as efficiently, and we become more susceptible to a broader range of information. This component — the default openness to more bits of information and varying interpretations — is what actually drives optimal creativity.

This unconventional but potent realization can come as mild bad news and good news. It may be bad news because you might have to adapt your workflow to optimize your creativity; the good news is that powering up your creative work just became a lot simpler to harness.

Now that you understand when your best creative work can be done, what are a few ways to utilize this wisdom? Check out my recommendations below:

  • Carry a pen and notepad with you at all times. I know this can sound super cliché because everyone recommends it, but that’s because it works. Don’t rely on your brain to remember every nugget, tidbit, and idea you create or encounter; it won’t happen. Write down everything that intrigues you so you can refer back to it later. Even better is to keep a separate notebook by your bed.
  • Reserve a few nights/mornings out of the week to have nothing going on. Just allow yourself to be free of obligations and have the chance to write down new ideas, patterns, and possibilities. Assign these moments in your schedule based on your peak time.
  • Maintain a relatively full schedule. When you have a lot going on, you’re more likely to get tired sooner. And, as we now know, being tired facilitates creativity. The sooner you get tired, the sooner and more likely you are to have some cool ideas coming your way. Not having a decently full schedule can be somewhat of a hindrance to creative thought.

Featured photo credit: Bench Accounting via unsplash.com

More by this author

Brad Johnson

Top 5 Kindle Author | Author of 10 Books

entrepreneurs 12 Little Known Facts About Famous Entrepreneurs leaders 20 Timeless Characteristics Of Quality Leaders belly fat 9 Reasons Your Belly Fat Doesn’t Go Away And How To Get Rid Of It language Did You Know This Many People Speak This Language? graphic design All The Choices You Get For Graphic Design In One Place

Trending in Science

1Science Says Screaming Is Good For You 2Weighted Blanket for Anxiety and Insomnia: How to Make It Work 3Scientists Discover Why You Should Take Off Your Shoes Before Entering Your Home 4Science Says Piano Players’ Brains Are Very Different From Everybody Else’s 5This Is Why You Should Sleep on Your Left Side (Backed by Science)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

Advertising

How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

Advertising

  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

Advertising

  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

Advertising

Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

Read Next