Monday Morning, 8:38am

My usual weekday mornings look something like this:

7:00 hit snooze

7:05 get out of bed. Hope that I remembered to make coffee and set the brew timer before bed last night. If not? Coffee-making-time.

7:15 feed the cat and dog. Let the dog out.

7:18 caffeinate. wish for a faster coffeepot.

7:25 journal/write/doodle

7:35 skim email (and then wish I had waited until the caffeine truly hit) & google reader.

7:45 walk the dog

8:15 hit the shower, blow-dry, spackle

8:55 realize that I’m going to be late to the office. Again. Offer to pick up breakfast as compensation for being late.

I’ve read two articles recently on The Creativity Post about creativity. The first details the ways in which my morning routine might be the very thing that saps my creative thinking.

In a study published in the journal Thinking and Reasoning last year, researchers Mareike Wieth and Rose Zacks reported that imaginative insights are most likely to come to us when we’re groggy and unfocused. The mental processes that inhibit distracting or irrelevant thoughts are at their weakest in these moments, allowing unexpected and sometimes inspired connections to be made.

They offer more insight into the positives of non-linear thinking (boy, you know for a long time I thought that non-linear was a bad thing…I’m rethinking) by citing three things that can help with divergent thinking and building flat associative networks (i.e., being able to jump creatively around from one idea to another, loosely-associated one):

  1. Sleep.
  2. Humor.
  3. Alcohol.

Many major breakthroughs happen in the unlikeliest of places, whether it’s Archimedes in the bathtub or the physicist Richard Feynman scribbling equations in a strip club, as he was known to do. It reveals the wisdom of Google putting ping-pong tables in the lobby and confirms the practical benefits of daydreaming. As Einstein once declared, “Creativity is the residue of time wasted.”

If you’re like me, free time almost always becomes To-Do time; errands, chores, things I need to do/should do/ought to do. I’m pledging this week to take a little bit of time to let my mind wander: a half-hour at lunch without being strapped to a smartphone or iPad, a larger chunk of time to doodle in the morning, some time with a blank page and a glass of wine in the evening. I hope you’ll join me.

Happy Monday, all. Here’s hoping your week brings some lovely, surprising insights and ideas!

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