A study highlighted in the BBC Horizon documentary on creativity suggested that trying new things, having new experiences or even doing your routine things in a slightly different way could boost your creativity.*
With that in mind I've been mixing up my morning routine. I'm not sure if I am feeling more creative but I am certainly more productive under the new regime. I've instilled a simple rule: no email before my morning chores are done. Now instead of getting sucked into the Facebook vortex while my washing sits damply in the machine I get all those boring housework things done before I sit down at my desk.
In the experiment participants are asked to prepare a popular breakfast dish in a very strange order. It's an odd dish to start with being a Dutch Chocolate Chip Sandwich. Instead of buttering the bread and then sprinkling on the chocolate chips the participants are instructed to sprinkle the chocolate chips all over their plate, then butter the bread, then press the buttered side onto the chocolate-covered plate thus causing the chips to stick and create the sandwich, kind of.
Parents often marvel at the creative minds of kids. My young son regularly prepares his breakfast cereal in a way that drives me nuts. He first fills the bowl with milk then pours Cocoa Pops (or similar) into the bowl. Of course they all float on the surface for a while so when he dips in his spoon there's a lot of overflow. Grrr.
But he might be onto something. Just because my way is more readily accepted doesn't mean it's the right way. And it seems like mixing routine tasks up is good for our brains.
Tomorrow I might try pouring in the water then adding the tea bag. Or filling my bowl with yogurt then adding the muesli. Or maybe I will have the muesli in one bowl and yogurt in another. CRAZY!! I'll be really living on the edge.
Steve Jobs was lauded for 'thinking outside the box'. How do you think he prepared his breakfast each day?
* Research conducted by psychologist Simone Ritter. Scroll down a few posts for a YouTube link to the video.