Productivity And Creativity Do Not Mix… And That’s Great!
A study shows that we have our best ideas when we are least productive.
This work, conducted by Mareike Wieth (Albion College) and Rose Zacks (Michigan State University), highlights the fact that we are distracted when we are least productive. But these distractions foster creativity and the exploration of new ideas.
We all have our favorite time to work – some are more productive in the morning, others in the afternoon. On this basis, Wieth and Zacks have asked 428 students to answer analytic and insight questions. Analytic questions require an arduous work while insight questions require a flash of inspiration. The best answers to insight questions were given when students were in their least productive time.
This study provides an interesting lesson for the organization of our schedule between productive and creative times. It is also a great lesson in optimism: Even when we rest, we can still produce value.