Creativity is unlikely to strike when you’re sitting at your desk, wracking your brain for ideas. Several recent studies prove that the path to an “aha moment” is stepping away from the grindstone. That’s why we tend to have our best ideas in the shower. It’s those “transition times” when we’re thinking about nothing in particular when the best ideas come.

  • For example, according to the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, a lot of great ideas occur when we’re waking up, falling asleep, or taking a shower, when our brains are freewheeling, and not fully focused. And another study found that volunteers came up with a higher number of new ideas when they ignored their body clock. That means, a morning person brainstorming in the evening, and night owls doing their thinking in the morning.

  • You can also spark your creativity by doing something new. A study in the Creativity Research Journal found that people who are open to new experiences, and pay close attention to what’s around them, are more creative. That’s because new experiences spark new ideas.

  • And the final way to become more creative: Get bored! So try doing simple, routine tasks that you don’t need to think about, like folding the laundry. Studies show that boredom is an important part of the creative process, and can actually lead to breakthrough ideas and increased productivity. Because when we’re bored, our brain starts sifting through stored information, basically daydreaming, and makes us more likely to make connections that never occurred to us before.