Why you have your best ideas when you’re least productive

idea bulb black background

Ideas happen at the darnedest times.

We all have our favorite times to power through work; some of us are up at the crack of dawn toiling away, while others feel more productive when the sun’s setting. But a new study suggests that out best ideas actually come to us when we’re not at our best.

Researchers have been studying how innovation and creativity varies with circadian rhythms—the natural patterns that make you a morning person or an evening type—and the findings are suprising…

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Consider What Your “Top Idea” is Making You Do

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Ideas often come to people in the shower.

Essayist and programmer Paul Graham realized that the idea one thinks about when allowed to think freely—in the shower, for example—is more than just a quiet obsessions. It’s a “Top idea,” and it influences every other thought, too. Here’s how…

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Artist Shopdropped Her Work on Black Friday

artist planting art at ikea
Photo: Michelle Pred (planting her work into IKEA’s inventory.)

As crowds rushed to find deals at the Emeryville, CA IKEA store, one of them had a plan other than shopping.  Michelle Pred was actually placing her artwork, complete with working IKEA barcodes, into the inventory, an act she calls “shopdropping.”  Unlike shoplifting, she isn’t breaking any laws, and IKEA pocketed the money.  It’s all a statement by the artist….

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100 Mile Per Gallon Plug-In Hybrid Van

100 Mile Per Gallon Plug-In Hybrid Van 

A spinoff from the Rocky Mountain Institute, Bright Automotive, has developed a 100-miles-per-gallon plug-in hybrid.

Last week, Bright Automotive, a startup based in Anderson, IN, unveiled a plug-in hybrid utility van designed to travel 50 miles on half a gallon of gasoline. The company plans to start producing the Idea vehicle in large volume by the end of 2012, and it hopes to sell 50,000 a year starting in 2013.

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Sarah’s Smash Shack – Relieve Stress By Breaking Things

Sarah’s Smash Shack - Relieve Stress By Breaking Things 

 Sarah’s Smash Shack

If you are human, you have probably at some point been so frustrated you felt the need to break something to relieve the tension. Sarah’s Smash Shack , in San Diego, California, provides a service to consumers that allows them to salvage their personal possessions, and break someone else’s.

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Business Veterans to Help Inventions Spring to Life

DaVinci Institute’s Inventor Boot Camp – 2008

It all starts with an epiphany. Every invention begins with a single “eureka moment” or some “brilliant revelation” that causes the inventor to take action.

These epiphanies become the idea seeds that will eventually get planted around the world. But we can only wish the process was as simple as adding water and fertilizer and waiting for the ideas to spring to life.

Inventions are not just patents to be hung on a wall. They are the starting point for a new business enterprise. So, not only does the inventor have to figure out how to create a working product or device, they also have to drive their invention towards a business model that will enable it to survive. And that’s where we come in.

 

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Great Mothers Day Invention – Automatic Baby Bottom Cleaner

Great Mothers Day Invention - Automatic Baby Bottom Cleaner

Automatic Baby Bottom Cleaner

Have you ever seen a kid so dirty you wish you could just tie him up to a tree and spray him down? Or a diaper so messy you just want to grab the kid and repeatedly dipping him into a warm tub filled with soapy water? Unfortunately, the modern tub is too big and showers too messy for either method.

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