Getting the best ideas in the strangest places

A colleague at my old agency used to claim he always had his best ideas when he went off for a ‘comfort break’. As strange as it sounds, there might well be a scientific explanation for this strange assertion.

In his book Too Fast To Think, Chris Lewis, CEO of global agency Lewis, asked a range of people, working in a range of different professional fields: where are you and what are you doing when you get your best ideas?  “The response was striking,” he says. “They all said that they were not at work, always alone and not trying.”¹

This makes perfect sense when we consider how our brains tend to operate. Chris explains that our subconscious processes information and problems without us realising it. When it comes up with a solution, it will bubble up into our conscious brain, causing that all-important flash of inspiration.¹

Secrets of the Fluro staff

So, in the interests of further scientific research, I asked some of my colleagues to name some of the strangest places they’ve come up with ideas for work when they’ve been out of the office.

Oscar used to take the train to London every day and sitting amongst the other commuters, mulling over the latest episode of Game of Thrones, winning ideas would regularly seem to spring from nowhere.

“It’s funny, my long train journey has been replaced by a short car ride and that’s so much better, but I do miss the odd time or two when ideas would come to me before I even set foot in the office. I guess my short, easier commute means I’m so much more relaxed when I do turn up to work now that the ideas tend to flow more freely anyway.”

Rush of dopamine

Simon is one of many who seem get a surprising number of their best ideas in the bath or shower.

Leo Widrich explains the science of creativity on the Buffer blog. Leo asserts that our brains give us our best ideas when large quantities of dopamine is released in our brains. Triggers like going to the gym, listening to music, and, yes, taking a shower can all result in an increase in the flow of dopamine.²

Of course, one of the beauties of working at Fluro is that we’re a mere stone’s throw from an idyllic stretch of the River Thames. Ellie regularly takes a wander down to the river at lunchtime to take a break. “Yes, it’s funny you should mention it, I do often seem to get a breakthrough when I’m out at lunchtime, not even trying.”

Never switch off

It seems the staff at Fluro are simply confirming what the psychologists already know: taking your mind off the problem can be one of the best ways of cracking it. What it also highlights is that, here at Fluro, we never switch off when we’re working on your business. Not even when we’re taking a comfort break.

If you’d like to see what our creative ideas could do for your business, give one of the team a call on 01628 525 449.

 

¹ https://www.itsnicethat.com/features/too-fast-to-think-creativity-advice-technology-050116

² https://lifehacker.com/science-explains-why-our-best-ideas-come-in-the-shower-5987858

 

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