May 17, 2013

Random Friday - Inspiration Paradox

Circadian rhythms determine whether you are a “morning-type” person or an “evening-type” person. Circadian rhythms drive daily fluctuations in many physiological processes like alertness, heart rate and body temperature.  Recent research indicates that these rhythms affect our intellectual functioning too.

Many studies have demonstrated that our best performance on challenging, attention-demanding tasks - like studying in the midst of distraction - occurs at our peak time of day.  When we operate at our optimal time of day, we filter out the distractions in our world and get down to business.

But note that innovation and creativity are greatest when we are not at our best, at least with respect to our circadian rhythms.  
So if your task requires strong focus and careful concentration - like balancing spreadsheets or reading a textbook - you are better off scheduling that task for your peak time of day.  However, if you need to open your mind to alternative approaches and consider diverse options, it may be wise to do so when your filter is not so functional.  You just may be able to see what you’ve been missing.

TGIF! Have a creative and productive day,