A scientific reason why you should not listen to music in the shower
Research confirms her experience: One study 1 tasks participants to copy phone numbers from the directory for 15 minutes to stimulate boredom; then they asked these people to come up with different ways to use a pair of cups, a task that would give them a chance to express their creativity.
The results? The “bored” group came up with significantly more creative ideas than the control group. The researchers hypothesized that participants daydreamed during a passive, boring task, which ultimately led to greater creativity.
That’s why Rubin recommends letting your mind wander and tapping into your subconscious for at least a few minutes a day, whether it’s on a walk, in a museum, or, yes, in the shower. “I don’t know if I would have gotten brilliant insight if I’d gone and listened to a podcast,” she notes. “As much as I love listening to podcasts, I would think about what the podcast was about.”
So, if you’re hoping to generate new, original thoughts, you may want to avoid any kind of mental stimulation. “You need this open-ended time to come up with new ideas,” she adds. “That’s why people get ideas in the shower or in the middle of the night—it’s the idle time when the brain creates its own entertainment.”