Productivity Spawns Creativity

Before you read the article below, answer this question:

What word is related to the following other three? Cookies, sixteen, heart.

The answer is in the text and I unfortunately read it before I thought about the question.  Is it patently obvious or not?

Fortune Magazine’s Anne Fisher asks the question – if Archimedes were taking a quick shower instead of a bath, would he have formulated his displacement principle?  The gist of the article is that it takes blocks of time to come up with the really smart, creative ideas and our interrupt driven, multi-tasking work environment is making this increasingly difficult.  Here’s a quote:

"What scientists have only recently begun to realize is that people may do their best thinking when they are not concentrating on work at all. If you’ve ever had a great idea pop into your head while you were washing your car, walking your dog, or even napping, you already know what a team of Dutch psychologists revealed last month in the journal Science: The unconscious mind is a terrific solver of complex problems when the conscious mind is busy elsewhere or, perhaps better yet, not overtaxed at all."

Now, as I read it, this is what David Allen has been trying to tell us all along – get your daily tasks under control so you don’t have to think about them to free your mind to be more creative.  This is certainly true for me – I do my best thinking on my walk to work when and my creative pursuits always benefit from downtime.