“Write drunk; edit sober,” Ernest Hemingway
Recently, there was a great discussion over at Medium, by Michael Cho, about the creative benefits of being a little blotto before you sit down to do creative work. The secret? Alcohol lowers inhibitions, and allows you to connect the dots more freely between disparate ideas. Which is, essentially, what creativity is all about. (That and hard work, which can seem counterintuitive, but might be what Hemingway was talking about in the above quote.)
While caffeine pulls a number on your brain to make you feel like you have more energy, alcohol has its own way of influencing your creativity.
After you’ve had a couple beers, drinking makes you less focused because it decreases your working memory, and you begin to care less about what’s happening around you. But as researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago discovered, this can be a good thing for creativity’s sake.
The article dives deep into the different effects caffeine and alcohol may have on your work. Simply put: coffee is for the hard, focussed work. And alcohol could help with the “new ideas” stage.
Disclaimer: don’t try this at your office.