You're More Creative at Work When You're Tired (or Drunk)
Creative individuals tend to bump into two stereotypes: Either people see them as bottle-hugging semi-professional winos, or they're labeled as lazy bastards who procrastinate until the deadline is looming and then engage in sleepless, coffee-fueled, last-minute workathons.
For instance, there is an amazing documentary called Six Days to Air about how the makers of South Park will create an episode in just six days, working all night, every night, sleeping for a few hours under their desks. By the end of the process, they're barely able to speak coherent sentences, exhaustedly delivering the final cut four hours before broadcast. Why do they do it? Science says it's because working while tired -- or even drunk -- simply works.
"So technically I have more of a drinking solution."
Scientists found that people who were tested during their least optimal time of day (when they were at their most tired) were more effective at solving puzzles that required creative thinking than when they were at their most alert. This goes a long way toward explaining why your weirdest, most outside-the-box ideas always come to you at three in the morning (a time of day when you're so sleepy, you almost feel drunk).
Well, shit, why stop with merely feeling drunk? Why not go for the real thing? So researchers set up a word-association test where they tested a group of sober guys against another group who were knocking back liberal amounts of vodka and cranberry. The groups were presented with three words ("peach," "arm" and "tar," for example) and asked to come up with a fourth, connecting word ("pit"). Awesomely, the intoxicated subjects wiped the floor with the sober ones: Out of 15 questions, the drunk group scored 8.7 correct answers on average, as opposed to the sobers' somber score of 6.3. And not only did Team Vodka Cranberry find creative thinking far easier than their sober counterparts, but they were a lot quicker to provide their answers, too. Obviously, there's a limit to how much you should drink -- most people find it difficult to paint the next "Mona Lisa" while passed out in the gutter.
"Back up. I think I'm about to Jackson Pollock all over this bar."