New study claims to pinpoint the most creative time of day, down to the minute

5 July 2019

Lawrence Slater: Boy Clock

A survey of 1000 UK workers has investigated the time of day we feel most creative, finding that 11:05am is the “average time for optimum creativity”. Though apparently it varies by career; the research finds that while most people’s creative juices are flowing some time between 10am and 11:30am, designers specifically have their best lightbulb moments at 10:16am, and architects slightly earlier at 10:06am. Meanwhile, artists take a little longer to warm up, with most inspiration striking at 11:46am.

Journalists are, according to this study, the earliest to get going, with 9:48am being their prime idea time (setting a calendar reminder now so I’m prepared for all that gold). And doctors are last, feeling most creative at 12pm.

The study, conducted by innovation funding specialists MPA Group, also explored other factors that affected innovation, including the working environment. 43% of workers across the job roles favoured a quiet office for idea-generation, though even more designers (46%) said a quiet atmosphere would stimulate their creativity, versus the 8% who preferred a noisy atmosphere with music – who evidently are situated somewhere in the It’s Nice That studio.

31% of designers said, perhaps unsurprisingly, that being surrounded by creative people would also help spark ideas, which is double the average across the survey. David Ellis, a freelance designer who was part of the survey, commented: “For me personally, there’s a real energy required to be creative and for that reason I feel at my most creative in the mornings: my brain and body are recharged and raring to go. I try and clear my mornings of admin type tasks to make the most of them and tap into my most creative time.”

Also concerned with how we can create the best conditions for our creative brains to roam free is Kate Hollowood’s article, Too Fast To Think: why switching off unlocks creativity.

Image: Boy Clock by illustrator Lawrence Slater.

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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