Some recent studies have noted that people's ability to solve problems depends on the time of day. Of course you've heard that you should get up early and do your biggest, best, and most important things first thing in the morning (a habit I'm already in). But there's some research that runs exactly opposite -- some kinds of problem solving is better when you're fatigued. This is super interesting to me as it combines two trends I'm paying attention to: the science of productivity also the 'cadence' of life's interactions.
I'm really into the rhythms and routines of daily living, both as an observer of the lives we lead and also as a rich resource for design intervention. Daily rhythms can be a powerful place for brands to intersect with life, and for startups to disrupt or just plain eliminate routines that people don't find optimal.
So this research shows that tiredness actually helps creative problem solving (the researchers call this 'insight driven' problems). Tiredness had little to no effect on analytical problem-solving tasks.
Here's the Atlantic's suggested hypothesis to perhaps explain the phenomenon:
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The reason might be that solving difficult puzzles often requires overcoming an impasse—which in turn