The Shower Principle

The Shower Principle

In a recent episode of 30 Rock, the character Jack Donnagy (played by Alec Baldwin) references the Shower Principle (which is not a real thing…yet). He defines this principle as the moments of inspiration that occurs when your brain is distracted with the problems at hand (like when you’re in the shower).

While Jack’s principle was used for humor on 30 Rock, this idea resonates with a lot of people – so much so that a product has been created to help you take notes in shower.

Lifehacker author Thorin Klosowski wrote a thought-provoking piece on finding your creative “sweet spot”. He asked the question: “When do you find yourself to be most productive or to be producing your best or most creative work?” Based on Klosowski’s article I started tracking my time using the RescueTime program. This has reinforced my suspicion that my most creative times of the day are early (6am-8am) or late (6pm-11pm) in the day.

This timeline is likely conditioned from working in an office environment for so long. Many individuals (myself included) find that working in an office can be very distracting with meetings, conference calls, and casual visits that you can’t control. Jason Fried, co-founder of 37 Signals, gave a fascinating talk at TedxMidwest about the challenges of being productive in the office. If you manage staff, we highly recommend listening to it. I find that my most productive days often correspond with the days in which I can clear blocks of time on my calendar for “meetings”. These meetings were just two hour windows in which I could shut the door and catch up on getting work done.

Social Change Consulting would love to hear from you. When do you find you produce your best or most creative work? Where (aside from the shower) do you do your best thinking? Please share in the comments section below.


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