Have you ever had a eureka moment while taking a shower? Like, you figured something out or came up with a great idea? A new study pinpointed why those "shower thoughts" happen . . .
Researchers at the University of Virginia found we tend to be more creative when our mind wanders, but it can't wander too much. So something like showering is perfect, because it's a fairly mindless activity, but not totally brainless.
An extreme example would be watching paint dry. They say something like that is too boring to spark creativity. But everyday tasks like showering or going for a walk let your mind wander the perfect amount.
They didn't actually test it by making people shower. For some reason, they made them watch the diner scene from "When Harry Met Sally".
They asked people to come up with ideas for how to use a brick and a paperclip, and had them watch three-minute videos while they brainstormed.
One was the diner clip, which was categorized as a "moderately engaging" video. The other was a "boring" clip of two guys folding laundry. And they found that people came up with more ideas while watching the movie clip.