Creative block is something most Brits have experienced – often on more than one occasion – but it turns out the key to unlocking creative juices may be closer to home than first thought.
New research from eco-friendly toilet paper company, Who Gives A Crap, released for World Creativity Day reveals that over a quarter of Brits (27%) have cracked a winning idea while behind the bathroom door, with over half (53%) saying their lightbulb moment struck when they were, quite literally, sitting on the edge of their (toilet) seat.
According to the survey of 2,000 adults, Brits spend an average of 140 hours every year on the porcelain throne and feel most creative mid-morning, so a 10am visit to the lavatory might just be the ticket to wiping away creative blocks once and for all.
It seems the bathroom isn’t just for those in need of a creativity hit, it’s also a place where many Brits seek solace from everyday trials and tribulations. In fact, nearly a quarter of those surveyed (24%) said the bathroom is their space of choice for moments of reflection and some welcome headspace.
Brits say they love the serenity of the loo because it’s a place they can embrace some “me time” (49%), it offers a peaceful environment (48%) or because it’s somewhere they can “lock themselves away from the outside world” (43%).
Lifting the lid on why some of our best ideas are conceived in the bathroom, Who Gives A Crap has partnered with British psychologist and wellbeing consultant, Lee Chambers, on why some of the best ideas are conceived in the bathroom.
“For many people, going to the toilet is something we take for granted and may potentially see as an inconvenience in our busy lives. But what is abundantly clear from this research and the many anecdotes shared, is that the bathroom is a playground for ideas, creativity and innovative thinking alike” said Lee.
He continues: “We enter into solitude when we close the bathroom door – a rare occasion in our increasingly ever-connected and stimulating world – which allows us to unlock our creativity for the following reasons:
- Alone time allows our minds to wander and daydream, connecting insights and creating space for ideas to come together – this gives us a less tunnelled, wider view of the landscape where creativity can flow
- The lack of digital and electronic stimulation allows our brains to activate our default mode network – we become less alert and pressured, giving our minds freedom to explore different pathways and conjure ideas that fall outside our usual focused thinking
- Going to the bathroom cuts off all other decisions and gives us a moment where we are not having to make a range of choices – this spare capacity can foster innovation as our medial prefrontal cortex becomes active”
Lee also shared his top five tips on how Brits can turn their bathroom into a living ‘Think Tank’:
- Keep your devices out – embrace the boredom of a trip to the toilet by digitally unplugging for a few minutes, and it could give more answers than hours of scrolling can
- Consider natural materials and textures – incorporate natural elements such as houseplants, natural materials such as stone and metals, or through textures or furnishings to connect to something bigger
- Don’t go bright on the lights – studies have shown that dim lighting that doesn’t overstimulate turns up creative potential, so consider lower, warming lighting, and if it’s the right mood, some candlelight
- Create a calming clear space – one thing that crushes creative juices is worrying about needing to tidy or clean the space that we are in so maintain the bathroom to gain the maximum creative benefits of the space
- Bring a boosting splash of colour – studies have shown yellow is a powerful colour to foster creativity, so consider adding it to furnishing or ornaments to give that extra spark of inspiration
Adding a splash of colour doesn’t need to cost the Earth either – check out Who Gives A Crap’s range of eco-friendly TP rolls adorned in colourfully designed wrappers for some inspiration.
Simon Griffiths, CEO and co-founder of Who Gives A Crap, said of the research findings: “The pace of modern life can be exhausting and sometimes all we need is a room with a door where we can be at one with our thoughts to get those creative ideas flowing. I need no convincing that the bathroom is the place to go – the idea for Who Gives A Crap came from the W.C. after all!
“We learnt that billions of people don’t have access to a toilet, so I sat on a toilet in our draughty warehouse until we had raised enough to start production. It took 50 hours! Since then we have, and will continue to donate 50% of all of our profits to help billions of people in need get access to clean water and sanitation.”