A few weeks back we published a news post bringing attention to a LinkedIn article, written by Gijs Van Wulfen, where he talked about when he gets his ‘Eureka moments’. The post was inundated with comments from managers, creatives and workers around the world about when they get their ‘eureka’ moments, or when they feel they are most creative. The results, which were later compiled by Gijs, show an oddly familiar, yet professionally unexpected set of results which all, in some way or another, drill down to what can only be summarized as when you’re not working, or trying to be creative at all.

We’ve written in the past about ways in which you can be more creative at work, from eating the right foods, to sprucing up your office, consuming the right media content and getting the right work/life balance, and we still stand by those – however, it seems that most of our creativity comes from completely different places, and all are similarly linked.

The full list, below, shows the top 10 suggestions seen in the comments of the aforementioned post:

 

1. Showering 11.2%;

2. Sleeping 9.2% (dreaming);

3. Driving 8.6% (my car, motorbike);

4. Walking 8.0% (in nature or walking the dogs);

5. Working out & running 7.2% (jogging);

6. Before sleeping 6.6%;

7. Waking up 6.6%;

8. Talking to others 3.7%

9. Alone 3.2%

10. 0.6% at work

 

At first glance, this list doesn’t seem to be a breakthrough into the true causes of creativity, because it’s not. On the surface, it also doesn’t offer much in the way of how you can induce creativity, aside from waking up, taking more showers, adding 10 minutes to your drive home from work or being alone a little more often. What it does show, however, is that we are often most creative when we’re not trying to be creative, and therefore a huge factor for being more creative at work, is to be more organised, in life.

 

What does this mean?

If you come up with a great idea at work, you’ll write it down, email it to a colleague, start work on it immediately or save it for later. You’re organised in work – it’s your job to think of certain ideas. If you have a similar idea at home, in the shower, or in the middle of a conversation with your friends, you’re far, far, less likely to act upon it. In fact, it is almost a given that you’re going to finish what you’re doing and have completely forgotten about it.

So, out of the top 10 times you’re supposedly most creative, only 0.6% (see above) of the time, you’re actually recording your ideas and acting upon them. That’s not great.

The solution is to be a more organised. Not just at work, but in everything you do. Being ready to write down your ideas is key to taking action on those, previously fleeting, ideas when you’re at work. It doesn’t have to be a huge shift in the way you live your life, and it certainly doesn’t have to feel like you’re always at work.

 

The 2 key items

Thanks to smartphones, the vast majority of us are very rarely more than 2 feet away from the world wide web, and a portable note taker. Because of this, we think there are only two items you’ll need in order to have a more organised home life. A phone, and a waterproof notepad (for the shower!).

 

The key to creativity is essentially just organisation.

 

Showering

Write it on your waterproof note pad

Sleeping

Record it in your phone as soon as your wake up


Driving

“Siri/Ok Google, remind me to…”

Walking

Take a note on your phone

Before Sleeping

Take a note on your phone

Waking up

Take a note on your phone

Talking to others

“I’ve just had a great idea, let me take a note of it”


Alone

Take a note on your phone


At work

However you want, or just start working on it.

 

Your ideas are your creativity, and as soon as you’ve forgotten them, they’re gone!

Back