Sleep Your Way to Creativity And 9 More Surefire Methods For More Ideas

No, no, no! Not that kind of sleep. Real sleep. Cuz if you wanna dream, you gotta, you know, dream:

business-people-getting-ideas-2261033by Belle Beth Cooper

We’ve written about creativity a few times on the Buffer blog, but it’s hard to keep track of everything we learn about it. One day I’madjusting the temperature in my workspace, and the next I’m trying to put off creative work until I’m tired.

If you’re in the same boat, and you find it’s difficult to remember what will improve your creativity and when you should do your most creative work, hopefully this list will help you get it all straight.

1. Your brain does better creative work when you’re tired

Unlike solving an analytic problem, creative insights come from letting our minds wanderalong tangents and into seemingly unrelated areas. Though many of us identify as morning larks or night owls, peaking in our problem-solving skills and focus at particular times of the day, creative thinking actually works better at non-optimal times. So, if you’re a morning lark, your brain will be better at finding creative insights at night, when you’re tired.

The reason behind this is that a tired brain struggles to filter out distractions and focus on one thing. It’s also more likely to wander off on tangents. While that seems like a bad thing when you’re working, creative thinking actually benefits from distractions and random thoughts. Research has shown that we’re better at “thinking outside the box” at our non-optimal times.

2. Exercise can improve your creativity

We know exercise is good for us for lots of reasons, but here’s one more. Studies have shown thatexercise can improve our ability to think creatively. When researchers had half the participants in a study perform an exercise video while the other half simply watched a video, those who had exercised outperformed the others in terms of divergent thinking – or, coming up with more possible solutions to a problem.

 Read it all