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Creativity and Circadian Rhythms



Whenever I’m asked to give advice to young creative professionals, I always encourage them to find ways to maximize their creative potential. No one is at their creative peak all the time. It’s natural to have ebbs and flows in creativity throughout the day. By paying careful attention to when these times typically occur, it is possible to take steps to maximize your creative output. This may sound a bit strange, but it’s actually supported by science. Scientific American and Psychology Today both discussed the topic. In Scientific American, author Cindi May discussed two different types of tasks your brain can tackle. Tasks that require focus and attention-to-detail are best handled at the peak of your Circadian Rhythm because you have the energy and focus to block out distractions. For analytic problems, or challenges that depend more heavily on an “aha moment,” it’s best to tackle those at off-peak hours.  Even though our brains are more susceptible to distraction at these times, we’re also more likely to consider alternative or outlandish solutions that can lead to an “aha” breakthrough.


And not this kind of a-ha breakthrough…



So when you’re planning out your day, remember that simple planning will help you maximize your creativity. Push meetings, paperwork and other necessary but non-creative tasks into the areas between your most productive times.

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