Putting in all those extra hours, either from the office or home, isn’t helping you. At least not with creativity, innovation or those ah-ha! moments.
Some of our greatest moments of insight happen where we least expect them to. From the Wallstreet Journal:
It happened to Archimedes in the bath. To Descartes it took place in bed while watching flies on his ceiling. And to Newton it occurred in an orchard, when he saw an apple fall.
From the same article but even more interesting:
Left to its own devices, our brain activates several areas associated with complex problem solving, which researchers had previously assumed were dormant during daydreams. Moreover, it appears to be the only time these areas work in unison.
Of course it’s not as simple as just lounging about in your robe & fuzzy slippers. You have to prepare in order to enable those insights to happen. From Fast Company:
The researchers found support for the idea that blinding insights favor a prepared mind–that is, you’ve got to really internalize the problem at hand if you’re to find any sort of solution. But to actually bring those insights to life, you’ve got to step back.
- A Wandering Mind Heads Straight Toward Insight: Researchers Map the Anatomy of the Brain’s Breakthrough Moments and Reveal the Payoff of Daydreaming
- Hard Work’s Overrated, Maybe Detrimental.
- The Eureka Hunt
- How to Become a Design Genius: Take Time Off. Lots of It.
- Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off – TED talk video