Creativity and Insight Boosters


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Creativity and insight are neurological cousins. Inspiration and passion drives creativity whereas insight is typically driven by sweat of the brow analytical thinking related to a single specific problem you are working on. Creativity and insight happen when the old brain (subconscious) is able to solve an intractable problem and then communicates the solution via intuition or gut feelings to the new brain (conscious). When you are working on a project or specific problem and you feel stuck, there are strategies that can help you maximize creativity and insight. I thought I’d run through a few of those boosters:

  • Sleep – Getting adequate sleep is critical for creativity and insight. Sleep deprivation is a creativity and insight killer. For most 6-8 hour of sleep should do the trick. More important than the number of hours of sleep is the number of sleep cycles. Four is a minimum, five ideal.
  • Change Your Environment – Put down what you’re doing. Take a walk, take a shower, listen to music, read a book, etc. The key is to divert your attention to something completely different and unrelated to the problem you are trying to solve. This diversion allows your old brain time to work offline on the problem.
  • Meditate – Meditation is really nothing more than a conscious effort to slow your brain down to the point where the brain goes into its alpha level (7-10 cycles/second).
  • Moderate Alcohol – One to two glasses of wine, beer or alcohol reduces inhibitions, increases dopamine and can be beneficial in increasing creativity.
  • Moderate Caffeine – Caffeine stimulates the brain by blocking adenosine, a chemical in the brain involved in making us feel sleepy.
  • Exercise – Exercise increases blood flow, oxygen levels and the production of glucose in our blood. This oxygen and glucose enriched blood eventually makes its way to our brain, feeding the brain with fuel to help provide you with the brain fuel necessary to trigger creativity and insight.
  • Take a Nap – One of the most important purposes of napping is to restore willpower. When willpower is low, we need rest to restore it. Willpower fuels new brain activity. When its low, our new brain slows down our ability to analytically solve problems.
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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Creativity is also stimulated by naps as it puts us back in our pre-sleep and post-sleep zones where the conscious mind is not active and the sub-conscious is able to make more creative connections as those made in dreams. The great things about naps is that you may be more likely to access and use those thoughts as you are generally more aware of those thoughts while waking from that shorter sleep.

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