When do the Best Ideas Come to You?

mobileWhen do you find yourself to be the most productive? Is it first thing in the morning? Is it while eating dinner, or while watching a TV show?

One thing’s for sure—it’s not while you’re sitting. A recent study out of Stanford University shows that ideas are most likely to arise while we’re walking. It’s already a well-accepted fact that sitting for long periods of time doesn’t do anyone any favors. But this study goes further to say that walking improves creativity. With examples like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, who have both been known for having walking meetings, the new Stanford study seems to validate these methods of brainstorming.

Further, the study shows that the particular environment while walking didn’t matter—walking on a treadmill facing a blank wall or walking outdoors, either setting was still better for the creative process than sitting. As Marily Oppezzo, one of the researchers, noted, “I thought walking outside would blow everything out of the water, but walking on a treadmill in a small, boring room still had strong results, which surprised me.” In one of the experiments during the study, participants were tested indoors first while sitting, then while walking on a treadmill, with astounding results—the creative output of participants increased by an average of 60 percent while the person was walking!

Wonderful. So now I know that my creative juices flow best while walking. But how am I to record the ideas that I come up with while moving? A great way to keep track of your ideas on the go and as you get them is the mobile responsive version of IdeaScale. The site is rendered beautifully in mobile, with full functionality on any device, and is designed and intended to collect ideas at the point of inspiration. For example, during what will surely be an increase in occurrence of walking meetings.

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