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Researchers Discover The Most Creative Time of Day 154

Creativity is least likely to strike in the afternoon, according to a survey that suggests office workers have little chance of solving problems after lunch. A poll of 1,426 people showed that a quarter of us stay up late when seeking inspiration. Taking a shower or just sitting in the bathroom proved to be a popular way of getting the creative juices flowing. The survey found that 10:04pm was the most creative time, while 4:33pm was the least. I'll think of something funny to write here later.


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Researchers Discover The Most Creative Time of Day

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  • by mfh ( 56 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:33PM (#25445817) Homepage Journal

    FUCK IT. I'm going home!!!!

    (And I'm only working between 10pm and 1am from now on!)

    Because I'll be more productive, I can get away with only working for 3 hours.

    My new World of Warcraft schedule will be as follows:

    8am-1pm (World PvP & farming)
    2pm-9:59pm (BG premades & Arenas)

    With WotLK I won't need to worry about stupid 25man raid times ...which are such a waste of time anyway -- for all my efforts in T6 content I get to replace it all in 3 weeks! x.x

    Wait a minute... it's 4:30pm and I just thought of this brave new strategy. OH SH-

    • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:59PM (#25446167)

      (And I'm only working between 10pm and 1am from now on!)

      Because I'll be more productive, I can get away with only working for 3 hours.

      Lunch time!!! Cya.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by laejoh ( 648921 )
        Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.
        • I keep trying to explain that I need six pints of beer and some packets of salted peanuts (muscle relaxant and extra protein, OBVIOUSLY) but no-one at work understands...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by theaveng ( 1243528 )

        My most productive time is immediately after I wake-up. It lasts until lunch and then peters-out.

        • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

          My most productive time is immediately after I wake-up. It lasts until my peter's out.

    • ... what?

      Sarah? Is that you, you're not making any sense.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      go look up "creativity" in a dictionary, then look up "productivity". get it now?
      (given your low uid, you do not have to come back to apologize afterwards...)

      • by mfh ( 56 )

        go look up "creativity" in a dictionary, then look up "productivity". get it now?

        My job is 100% creativity, so therefore if I am not at peak creative levels, I cannot produce. :(

    • by genner ( 694963 )
      World PVP? Which server are you on? So far Achievements have done nothing to bring back world PVP on Aegwyn.
      • Step 1: Bring a friend. Find someone of your own level in a pvp zone and gank them. You might feel a tinge of guilt -- this is temporary and a necessary step to getting some world pvp action going. You'll get over it.

        Step 2: Travel a short distance around the person's corpse and gank anyone else nearby. When anybody rezzes, don't kill them until they have had time to rebuff and regen or they are more likely to get bored or sick of it and log off/log on an alt/run away.

        Step 3: After a short peri
  • My Take (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:33PM (#25445821) Homepage Journal

    Honestly, the most creative times I've experienced have been driving, both with and without passengers, on trips in the two to five hour range. I live in NE Montana, and there are plenty of such trips that offer few distractions (other traffic, road signs or lights, other roads.)

    Sometimes I talk to my passengers; sometimes to myself. I go over the subject matter this way and that, and I try to use metaphors to gently prod myself into seeing other angles (by pushing the metaphors until they either break, register completely, or actually show me something.)

    My sweetheart, who is both brilliant and kind enough to let me talk technically at her for considerable lengths of time, assists by letting me go through this process:

    I'll pick something that either simply seems to need work or is an actual problem, and I'll explain to her exactly how I see the issue at the moment, complete with explanations of why I don't do this, or why I did that. Sometimes - not always by any means, but a reasonable number of times - I run down into a splutter, asking myself... "Why? Why did I do that? Uh... " or "man, that sure could have been done better..."

    Which is followed by pulling over and making a note for later. :-)

    The thing is, she's not technical (in my field) so I have to explain everything, pretty much. Metaphors help a lot too. But because she's actually paying attention, there's no getting away with hand-waving. I find that many times, inspiration lurks in areas I've discarded as no longer worthy of much (if any) attention. This process forces the issue.

    Time of day doesn't seem to matter in my case. Coffee, however, is definitely involved.

    We do this for management of our businesses as well; we have a couple retail operations, a software store, a lingerie store (stockings, mostly), a martial arts studio and a portrait photo business, plus I do some consulting here and there. We do a lot of juggling, and it helps to rattle ideas around in an unstructured environment. With the cell phones off!!!


    • Re:My Take (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:57PM (#25446155)

      The thing is, she's not technical (in my field) so I have to explain everything, pretty much. Metaphors help a lot too. But because she's actually paying attention, there's no getting away with hand-waving.

      Indeed, talking to a human is much better than "talking to the [teddy] bear" as it is called here in that a human pays attention. And talking to a human that doesn't know the subject has its own benefits, as Douglas Adams pointed out:

      "There really wasn't a lot this machine could do that you couldn't do yourself in half the time with a lot less trouble," said Richard, "but it was, on the other hand, very good at being a slow and dim-witted pupil."

      Reg looked at him quizzically.

      "I had no idea they were supposed to be in short supply," he said. "I could hit a dozen with a bread roll from where I'm sitting."

      "I'm sure. But look at it this way. What really is the point of trying to teach anything to anybody?"

      This question seemed to provoke a murmur of sympathetic approval from up and down the table.

      Richard continued, "What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your own mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that's really the essence of programming. By the time you've sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you've certainly learned something about it yourself. The teacher usually learns more than the pupil. Isn't that true?"

      "It would be hard to learn much less than my pupils," came a low growl from somewhere on the table, "without undergoing a pre-frontal lobotomy."

      BTW, I wouldn't suggest you compare your sweetheart to a very slow, dim-witted pupil. Certainly not to her face.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Dripdry ( 1062282 )
        I wouldn't compare her to that, either, unless all you want her to do is SELL lingerie.
      • Re:My Take (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cailith1970 ( 1325195 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @07:43PM (#25447625)

        That's the equivalent of what I've heard called (and which I call) "Rubber Dummy Syndrome." You need to solve a problem. You've been wracking your brains on it for hours. In desperation, you go and get help on it, so you start to describe the problem to a colleague. About half way through describing the problem, you stop, say "never mind," and realise that you've solved it. The person you're talking to never need say a word. It's the act of DESCRIBING the problem that finally gives you the solutions.

        As for the best time of the day to think? For me, either 8am or 10pm. Or in the toilet, or making a hot drink in the kitchen. Occasionally I've been trying to solve some problem, and my boss said to me "Go and make a cuppa, looks like you need to think." And damned if it didn't usually work :)

      • Re:My Take (Score:4, Insightful)

        by lysergic.acid ( 845423 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @08:04PM (#25447821) Homepage

        while i don't have a "sweetheart"--not anymore at least, i can empathize with the teaching analogy.

        i used to tutor struggling students after-school at my school library. and even though i'd learned most of the material i went over with them long ago, teaching it to them helped me gain a much stronger grasp of these concepts.

        most poor students aren't stupid. some lack discipline or are lazy, and some just learn differently from others. the students that came to me for help were obviously motivated to learn and not lazy. but they needed help understanding certain concepts that just weren't getting through the way the teacher tried to explain it to them.

        this experience taught me to analyze a problem from many different perspectives. i would experiment with different analogies and gauge how the pupil responded to it, adjusting my teaching methods accordingly. not only did i help most pupils to walk away confident in their academic abilities, but i also learned to take unconventional approaches to difficult problems and analyze the subtle connections between different concepts and ideas.

        this approach proved invaluable in elucidating difficult concepts to struggling pupils, but it has also taught me to be more elastic in my own thought process, helping me solve many challenging problems.

        so teaching others is definitely one of the best ways to learn. just as helping others is the best way to help yourself.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by syousef ( 465911 )

        BTW, I wouldn't suggest you compare your sweetheart to a very slow, dim-witted pupil. Certainly not to her face.

        He's got multiple businesses. She would stay with him for the money :-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by oever ( 233119 )

      Each day, I bike 14 kilometers to work and 9 miles back. This is a great time for planning and evaluating the day. On a bike you are active and awake because of the wind and the required exercise. On my bike I think about programming strategies, past and future social interactions, planning my commercial/proprietary and Free software activities or the odd real-life subject. When I get to work I change my shirt and answer my email; the routine kicks in. During the day I'll have lulls in motivation for the bo

      • Wait do you have like a black hole at work that allows you to knock off 5 KM on your ride home?
        • Nah, you fell for the tactical cheapo.

          He bikes in Euro Metric on the way over and Old English Standard on the way back. The online converter claims 0.5ish km vanished somewhere, so maybe Mrs. Gribblewhimple yelled at him to Get Off Her Lawn (TM) on his way home.

  • by ( 463190 ) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:34PM (#25445833) Homepage
    Well in absolute terms it might be "10:04 pm", but really it's just whatever time of day that all your usual distractions are gone and you've forgotten for a moment what a boring life you lead, but you're not tired enough to sleep yet. Inspiration can only strike when you're energized and your mind is clear and receptive. Far too few people appreciate what a toll the 9-5 shcedule takes on one's creativity. If you ever get a couple months off work/school for any reason, try sleeping only when you're tired and eating only when you're hungry. I did this for six months straight one time, and although ultimately I was exhausted, it was the most creative and rewarding period in my life. It felt absolutely bizarre to be rotating around the clock on a schedule of 20 hours awake followed by 8 hours of sleep, but man did I get a lot of stuff done! Now I'm on powerful sedatives so I can hold down a "normal" existence, stay out of jail/hopsital etc... but what fun I had back in the day. :)
    • by ookabooka ( 731013 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:50PM (#25446057)
      I get extremely creative during the beginning of a manic phase (I'm bipolar). I know full well what it feels like to have creativity, have it go hay-wire (not make much sense) and then feel dumb (depressed). For me, my creativity is best when I'm well rested, under little stress, and enthused about what I am doing. Too little sleep and my ideas start to make less and less sense and are less practical which just frustrates me and increases my stress level; I've also found that sleep helps with thinking outside the box. Being enthused about whatever you are doing can be tricky, it's all about attitude and how you approach the problem. Writing a program that controls various stages of a sewage treatment plant? Instead of being bummed out look at it differently: how many computer programs are there that perform the same function? I bet I could make something that's more efficient and better documented. . .Whatever you do, don't sacrifice your health for a burst of creativity.

      Currently I'm depressed, so I'm sure my post could have been much more creative and charismatic had I posted it a few months ago :-D
      • i feel ya. i haven't been in a manic phase in quite some time. i used to stay up all night working on personal projects. even at school i'd be thinking in my head or doodling notes to myself in my notebook. those were the days.

        i used to:

        • spend hours creating custom maps for Duke3D and show them off with a friend over the modem.
        • write punters/proggies, mail bombers, trojans, porn site crackers, game hacks (hey, i was in 7th grade, alright?).
        • run my own website ( that at its peek received 2000
      • Whatever you do, don't sacrifice your health for a burst of creativity.

        i'm having trouble finding verification online, but i seem to recall reading a bio of kafka years ago, where he writes in his journal that he felt a burst of creativity. he died a short time later from a burst appendix. while this seems fitting for an existentialist author, i'd have to agree w/ the parent...

    • Sounds to me what you really need is to move to a planet with a longer day. Hell, I can relate to the desire for that kind of schedule. I feel like the day is so short.
    • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:33PM (#25446511)

      If you ever get a couple months off work/school for any reason, try sleeping only when you're tired and eating only when you're hungry. I did this for six months straight one time, and although ultimately I was exhausted, it was the most creative and rewarding period in my life. It felt absolutely bizarre to be rotating around the clock on a schedule of 20 hours awake followed by 8 hours of sleep, but man did I get a lot of stuff done!

      And did it drive you stark-raving mad []?

      Now I'm on powerful sedatives so I can hold down a "normal" existence, stay out of jail/hospital etc... but what fun I had back in the day. :)

      Ah, it appears you have anticipated my question. Well done.

      (I am considering trying this. There's just a matter of certain regular meetings, occasional free lunches on Thursdays to consider, and the usual holidays, and a benefit is that the off-peak work times mean more opportunities to do coding that would otherwise disrupt all the other programmers.)

      • Sounds suspiciously like an Uberman schedule.

        The main reason I can't do that is the amount of time I'd be sleep-deprived before it started working (can't lose a full week that way). And I don't really want the absolute inflexibility of pretty much instantly falling asleep at naptime.

    • If you ever get a couple months off work/school for any reason, try

      Being a night person, I "fall" into a nocturnal schedule. But even when I am working a usual 8AM to 6PM (9 to 5 is a myth) schedule, I function better and am more creative the later in the day. Heck, I can get as little as 4 hour sleep, get to work by 8AM and still be wide awake and at a high level of mental function at 10PM (or later).

    • by pcgabe ( 712924 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:59PM (#25447293) Homepage Journal

      you've forgotten for a moment what a boring life you lead

      I keep hearing about this 'boring life' that people are talking about, and I have to say, I'd like to try it.

      I'm stuck in an interesting life. I didn't realize this until recently, but apparently, not everyone was kidnapped as a child, or had a roommate who tried to kill them, or were accidentally mistaken for a terrorist and caused a bomb-scare. I had no idea that boring was even an option!

      Man, I had more but (I can't believe I'm saying this) the house is filling with smoke. There may be a fire.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by pcgabe ( 712924 )

        It wasn't a fire. Or, it wasn't an uncontained fire.

        One of my roommates was microwaving a burrito, set the time too high, got a phone call and left to go to the store. Forgetting the burrito.

        The house stinks of smoke, the microwave may be toast, and it's getting cold with all these windows open. At least the smoke detectors have stopped going off.

        I really, really, REALLY wish I were joking. :-(

    • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )

      try sleeping only when you're tired and eating only when you're hungry

      That's what everyone does anyway!

      Is anyone able to sleep when they are not tired? Who ever heard of stuffing food into yourself even when you don't feel hungry?

      Is there some parallel universe where people don't feel the natural bodily impulses of hunger and tiredness, and have to rely on Slashdot advice to tell them to drink when thirsty and scratch their own itch?

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm glad your bodily impulses are all firing correctly, but not everyone is so lucky. I, for instance, eat when not hungry sometimes. As a result, I gained weight. I've been reversing the process for a while now, progress is slow. The

      • What if your always hungry :(

  • I'm going to forward this article to my boss and go home early, awesome thanks!! Who says I can't be creative in the afternoon?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by itamihn ( 1213328 )

      If you show this article to your boss, he will force you to work until 10:04 pm, and beyond.

  • Yuck (Score:5, Funny)

    by Itninja ( 937614 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:38PM (#25445905) Homepage
    Having "sitting in the bathroom" and a reference to one's "creative juices" in the same sentence kind of grosses me out for some reason.
  • 4:20 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Daveznet ( 789744 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:38PM (#25445909)
    Sounds about right, right after 4:20 people usually tend to get lazy and just not do work in general.
  • Siesta (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:41PM (#25445933)

    Some cultures have figured out the low point and adjusted their whole day around it. My biological clock agrees. I find my energy levels and creativity at their lowest sometime between 2-4pm. It is almost a depression. Best to nap through it.

    I peak emotionally and creatively at dusk. Something about the night coming on just starts it. I stay this way until I go to sleep. Best time for coding, thinking something out, or just plain enjoying music, movies or reading. You do must make it a point of stopping at a reasonable time, as your whole next day is wrecked without a solid nights sleep.

  • Its 4:30 and I'm suppose to be writing on nuclear power. Yet I find myself here. Its going to be a long night
  • YOUR DESK, Your office (Work) -- The chances of you finishing writing this article without getting interrupted or distracted are slim.

    U.S. office workers get interrupted on the job as often as eleven times per hour, costing as much as $588 billion in paid time lost to open content production each year. The digital communications that were supposed to make working lives run smoothly -- cc'ed email jokes, Internet porn and chatting up that hottie in the next office by IM -- are actually preventing people from getting critical tasks like writing Uncyclopedia or Wikipedia accomplished.

    The typical office worker is interrupted every three minutes by a phone call, e-mail, instant message or other distraction. These take up 2.1 hours of the average day -- 28 percent -- with workers taking an average of five minutes to recover from each interruption and return to their original gag-writing or witty picture editing, or querulous talk page arguments and arbitration cases about the correct format for subheadings on articles about disused former US highways. The problem is that it takes about eight uninterrupted minutes for our brains to get into a really creative state.

    From online shopping at work to planning the office holiday party, workers are bombarded with distractions. "It's certainly a recipe for even less writing getting done," said a typically bone-idle and parasitical Uncyclopedia timewaster. "It's 'There's my BlackBerry. What time is it in Kittenhoeffer right now? How many phone calls did I get? Can I win the sales office spider solitaire competition?' It's a lot of productive timewasting turned to useless 'productivity.' People like the convenience and possibilities that this technology affords them when they want to use it, but that doesn't increase the average quality of Wikipedia or pump up the funneh on Uncyc!"

    Still another study found a group of workers interrupted by e-mail and telephones scored lower on an IQ test than a test group that had smoked marijuana. Unfortunately, EPA regulations still forbid bong hits at one's desk, even when trying to fix one's makefile.

    There is a mini rebellion under way, however. Desperate for some quiet time to think, people are coming up with low-tech strategies to get away from all their technology. "If you don't have that sort of free time to dream and muse and mull, then you are not being creative, by definition. I find hiding in the server room with my laptop is a good place to work on witty tales of Britney Spears flashing her lunch at paparazzi."

    The problem appears to be getting worse. A study by Wikia earlier this year found that 62 percent of British Uncyclopedians are addicted to their e-mail -- checking messages during meetings, after working hours and on vacation, hoping to get their funny take onto UnNews first.

    "If I wanted to work," said the user, "hell. I'd get a job."

    (original link [])

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Taking a shower, washing my hair, working out hard enough that the sweat is dripping off, IME facilitates creative thought flow.

    My vacation was supposed to start on a Monday, but something broke on Friday and it manifested itself in my code (although ultimately the error was detected in a recently submitted change from another programmer). Late in the evening, I ran out of ideas. Fortunately, the exercise room downstairs was open 24/7. Forty minutes on a treadmill, and I lost significant water weight thr

  • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:45PM (#25445989) Homepage

    Early to bed and early to rise makes Jack miss out on his peak creativity period.

    • by Nick Number ( 447026 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:18PM (#25446343) Homepage Journal

      I am Jack's stunning lack of peak creativity.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I find this article to be concurrent with my own observations. Your statement further reflects upon my circumstances. I often find that I face the choice between getting sufficient sleep (which increases my productivity at work) and utilizing the creative burst that I get between 10:00 p.m. and midnight. I envy everybody who boasts of hours flexible enough to accommodate even a little bit of variance. I work in inside sales, so my job consists of answering phones from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. According t

      • i'm very fortunate in that my boss is also a close friend (more of a father figure really). he gives me very flexible hours (i get to write them basically) and doesn't care if i come in a few hours late.

        but i agree with you that it sucks having your schedule/life dictated by your source of income. kids spend their entire childhood preparing for college, and in college they pick their classes/major based on what career they want to pursue. they pick their career, in turn, based on the kind of money they want

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Czarf ( 730417 )
      "Early to rise and early to bed, makes a man healthy, but socially dead." -Yakko Warner
  • No Kidding (Score:4, Insightful)

    by maz2331 ( 1104901 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:48PM (#25446031)

    Quite likely it's due to the chance to decompress a bit that creativity occurs outside of normal hours. It's really hard to focus and think up anything actually creative when the PHBs are bugging the hell out of you, or the phone is ringing with someone panicing about what is usually a non-issue.

    It's why great authors often are almost recluses while working on a book.

    Stress, meetings, coworkers, etc. do more to kill creativity than anything else.

    Creativity requires being relaxed and focused on the actual problem to be solved. Normal office life is the exact opposite of that environment.

  • Makes sense (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jeff Hornby ( 211519 ) <jthornby&sympatico,ca> on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:48PM (#25446037) Homepage

    Isn't 10:04 about when the effects of that third shot of scotch is starting to kick in.

  • Damn, that explains why I never get any good ideas/dates!

  • by CaptainPatent ( 1087643 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:55PM (#25446125) Journal
    it would be interesting to see what a shifted sleep schedule does to this. Personally I have a very flexible work schedule and generally wake up between 11 AM and noon and go to sleep between 3AM and 4AM.

    I actually feel the most creative around the 3-4PM area (which would be equivalent to most people's 10AM whereas around 7 or 8PM I start dragging serious amounts of creative ass unless I'm highly caffeinated.

    I'm not saying that me alone shows this is relational to the time you normally wake up, but it would be interesting to find that out also.
    • Legend has it that Leonardo da Vinci kept a very unusual sleep cycle; he would sleep in short amounts, but several times per day.

      Interestingly, if you Google "leonardo da vinci sleep" [] the first result you get is an article on this concept: Polyphasic Sleep [], which doesn't mention Leonardo anywhere. Apparently enough pages mentioning Leonardo link to that article to that it ranks #1, without even mentioning him itself.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:55PM (#25446127)

    I go to bed somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00 pm. After about 9 PM I'm generally too tired to do anything but watch TV, and even that usually puts me to sleep.

    But I get up around 5 AM and my most productive time seems to be between about 6 AM and about 10 AM. I feel the most alert and productive then, possibly because I'm enjoying the benefits of sleep + coffee (without being overcaffeinated or relying on it for energy) and I'm not "bogged down" psychologically by all of the bullshit and stress accumulated during the course of the day.

    Now that I'm fully entering old farthood (41), I'm guessing the study conclusions must be biased towards the under-30 set, since most people I know in my age/lifestyle category (over 40 with kids) are largely in my same situation with regard to being dead by about 10 PM, although most don't seem to be up at 5.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm also in early old farthood (41 too). I get up at 3:40 AM, am at my desk by 5:00 AM and leave the office at 2:30 PM (home by 3:45 PM). I can choose my own hours, and I pick those so that I miss the worst of the traffic and can do things like coach soccer for the kids from say 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM. After that, dead tired by 9:00 PM on coaching nights. On nights with no soccer, maybe 8:00 PM. It certainly works well for me to have that schedule and I would say my most creative time is around 6:00 AM before th
    • by osu-neko ( 2604 )

      Now that I'm fully entering old farthood (41) ...

      Boy, you really know how to depress a guy... :(

  • Posted @04:33PM. Indeed.

  • This might be an averaged result but as such it might have little value. I would expect that the creative times of day vary widely between individuals. For me, e.g., it is quite the other way round. I can only do routine tasks before noon and I rarely come up with realy creative ideas before about 4pm. I wish I could be creative earlier in the day because as a theoretical physicist I should be creative for as long as possible but my personal experience strongly favours the afternoon.
  • by iceT ( 68610 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:01PM (#25446189)

    "...sitting in the bathroom proved to be a popular way of getting the creative juices flowing."

    You can't make shit like that up. It's priceless.

  • Take that you early risers! I always knew there was something wrong with you people.......
    • Yes, because the early bird gets to eat the worms.

      Sleep late. That's what I say... and beat the traffic.

  • I call BS. The absolutely most creative time is right before whatever your working on is due, making you decide between turning in a sub-par piece or turning in a late masterpiece. The grade is always exactly the same.
  • Duuuuuude! Everyone knows that the most creative time of day is 4:20!
  • The super burrito lunch is a weapon of creativity destruction.
  • Looks like they dropped the ball on this one. Usually my most creative moments come about 30 minutes after happy hour ends.
  • Remove stimuli (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jedrek ( 79264 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:45PM (#25446647) Homepage

    This may or may not work for other people, but I too find that my most creative moments are in the shower... because there's no new stimuli there. The rest of the time, I'm usually getting information from somewhere: listening to the radio in the car, watching TV while I wash the dishes, etc. Those 15-25 minutes I'm in the shower, nothing else is happening and my mind wanders. That's when ideas form and it's quiet enough in there for them to be heard.

  • Survey said ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hedronist ( 233240 ) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:53PM (#25446715)
    Shower! (Ding!)

    My employees used to joke that the company would make more money if we had a shower installed in my office. I claimed I would end up looking like a prune, but was told that that might also be an improvement.

    • by bmc13 ( 911734 )
      there was even a commercial about installing a shower in an office bathroom just for this reason a couple of years ago (it was for fedex or something)
  • It actually mirrors my personal experience. I often wonder why I get such a rush of creativeness just as I'm about to turn in! Now will changing my scheduel around so I stay awake past 10 pm help me get some things done. Or will it just result in me sleeping late into the afternoon...
  • So, is 4:33 PM also the time of day that you corrupt your site's style sheets?

    Yeah, mark it as troll, I don't care, its 4:58 PM.

  • Juices (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Anyone else find "creative juices flowing" in the same sentence as "sitting in the bathroom" churn their stomach?

  • Thats right, when sitting on the designer throne, everybody creates something that wasn't there prior to sitting. Then, you wipe the Democrap.
  • It seems like a lot of the replies all seem to acknowledge that the flashes of inspiration come when we're not directly involved with whatever the task at hand happens to be. Often times I find it helpful to get up and go for a walk. There seems to be something about shifting from actually working directly on the issue, to stepping away from it while still being able to ponder it. The brain seems to shift out of actively doing mode and into pondering how else to do it mode.

  • Mine is 1-2 a.m. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:33PM (#25447065) Journal

    Staying up past your bedtime is a mentally liberating thing.

    There is probably some serotonin-related brain chemistry; maybe also you're a few hours farther away from the blood-sucking, chemically disruptive digestive process than at other times of the day; but mostly I think it's just that if you know you're "up late" you're working on free time, and not during the times of day that are otherwise owed to the things you haven't gotten done already.

    You put aside your 16-hours-a-day budget and use the free time to reach beyond your to-do list.

    Also, it's possible the situation is conditioned. Finding something creative to do at bedtime lets you stay up late, which is and always has been a reward, even if you really want to get some sleep because you have something scheduled for the morning.

  • What about those of us who by choice work a later shift? For instance I get in at 13:30 and work till 21:00
  • It's always 10ish somewhere. It's 4:24p here but I'm sure it's 10:04 somewhere else.

  • 10:04pm is exactly when lightning struck the Hill Valley clock tower [] on September 12, 1955.


    I think so....

  • For some reason, 4:20 seems to be the most creative time of day for me...

  • Why don't public servants look out the window in the morning?

    Cause they wouldn't have anything to do in the arvo.

  • I've seen studies -- better, more serious studies -- that proved, at least to my satisfaction, that different people have different "schedules". Some are more efficient in the morning, some in the afternoon, some in the evening; some are more creative in the... well, you get the picture.

    I think the fact that people have different patterns should already have become scientific "common sense"; I'm surprised that anyone can still be doing idiotic "research" like this, lumping everyone on the same baseline.

    • You can still make useful inferences from this data, though, if you consider the average office worker's bedtime and alarm time.

      But you're right -- the study should be defined in terms of the "total hours of wakefulness" that generated the most creativity.

      But wait -- some people have more tiring jobs than others, so they will fatigue during the day faster, further confounding the results!

      Blast. It's like Science is hard, or something.

  • ...the poll by the Crowne Plaza hotel chain showed...

    So, the "researchers" at Crowne Plaza Hotels asked a bunch of people (presumably their customers) to self-report when they're most creative. Then they came up with an average number that's supposed to be everyone's most creative time. Sounds pretty scientific.

  • 10:04? 4:33? Sounds like somebody doesn't know which type of graph to use for which types of data.

    "Could you average them?"
    "Yes. I could also multiply them."

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.