Studies show that the mind is often more creative at so-called suboptimal times. If you’re unable to put your feet up at the office, consider working late-or better still, rising before dawn. It worked for Hemingway and Mozart.
Break Up Your Work Schedule
Creativity comes in fits and starts, and some of the best breakthroughs happen when the mind is distracted. (Google employees are known to play Ping-Pong and foosball at the office.) Even menial tasks, like cleaning your desk or getting your files in order, can give your mind the respite it needs to function at peak capacity.
Cultivate a Safe Space
Studies show that people do their best work when they’re not worrying about imminent deadlines or their boss’s frustrations. Get started early, give your mind time to wander and don’t beat yourself up about missteps along the way.
Know Your Stuff
A creative mind is a knowledgeable one. The more you master your subject matter, the better your chances of doing something new with it.
Take Time for Catnaps
REM sleep has been shown to help the brain overcome creative challenges. Even 20 minutes of shut-eye is a worthwhile investment in productivity.