Excerpts from this excellent
coffee (there I go again) article on “Beer Mode and Coffee Mode” (open mode and closed mode) by David Perell.
This new article reminds me a bit of Paul Graham’s piece on Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule.
“Beer mode is a state of unfocused play where you discover new ideas. In contrast, coffee mode is a state of focus where you work towards a specific outcome.”
“John Cleese of Monty Python, who coined the analogous idea of open mode and closed mode, went as far as to say that “creativity is not possible in closed mode.” In closed mode, we’re too focused on our to-do lists and fueled by productive stress. Writing about open mode, he says:
“By contrast, the open mode is a relaxed… expansive… less purposeful mode… in which we’re probably more contemplative, more inclined to humor (which always accompanies a wider perspective) and, consequently, more playful. It’s a mode in which curiosity for its own sake can operate because we’re not under pressure to get a specific thing done quickly. We can play, which allows our natural creativity to surface.”
“Our best ideas rarely come alive in busyness. They spring to life in calm and aimless contemplation.”