It turns out that mental exhaustion from overwork can unleash creativity.
Mental exhaustion, according to a recent study by Rémi Radel at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, leads to a reduction in mental inhibition.
Although inhibition is essential for day-to-day activities such as problem-solving and focusing on tasks, it stifles creative thinking by "gating out eccentric thoughts and ideas."
Uninhibited minds, on the other hand, can unleash our creative genius. This according to an article in Scientific American by Madhuvanthi Kannan, a postdoctoral researcher of neurobiology at Yale University. "Overworking Your Brain."
“Creative people can turn down the volume of inhibition to let novel ideas inspire them, and then, turn the volume back up to put their ideas to meaningful use.”
We spend most of our day creating and enforcing barriers to distractions and attempting to avoid task saturation. At some point, it’s ok to just surrender.
Never waste a good burn out; use it to unlock your innovation and creativity.
What is it about water?
Archimedes discovered his "Eureka" moment in a bathtub. For many of us, including me, creativity is unleashed early in the morning, in the shower. A similar elimination of inhibition is involved; in this case our minds have not yet built up our day's inhibition barriers.
And, studies indicate that it's not the water it's the floatation; it involves letting your thoughts float without inhibition; in psychology this is known as fixation forgetting. Per Benjamin Storm and Genna Angello, authors of "Overcoming Fixation;" To “think outside the box,” one must forget what is “inside the box.”
Looking for that next "big idea?"
Are you a designer, writer, salesperson, systems engineer or simply preparing for your next big presentation or interview? Burned out, meditating or standing in the shower may be a good start. Lose your inhibitions and distractions and open your mind.
Please let me know what thoughts fill that space... and get some rest.
(c) 2015, David J. Katz - New York City