You’ve probably heard that great ideas can come to you in the shower — it has even been scientifically proven. Nevertheless, you probably waste more time enjoying yourself than you do having epiphanies. While you should take your breaks, here are five ways to get a little more done during your downtime.
Inspiration is fickle and difficult. We all strive for those bright “Aha!” moments, whether we work in a creative or logical field. While it’s not a process you can control entirely, there are ways to enable and encourage your brain to have more of those epiphanies when you understand how they work.
Chartered accountant Tim Anderson loves Swarm days where the staff at advertising agency BWM Group adjourn to the pub for an hour and brainstorm a large client brief. This is business and they drink mineral water but ideas can come from anyone, from the creative director to someone in accounts payable.
A year ago I sat in bed late at night, wide awake. I was tired but unable to sleep. I sighed out loud, “I am never going to get this done in time!” I was hyperventilating. The good news? A publisher had just agreed to publish my first solo book. The bad news? Now I needed to write it. As Dorothy Parker is credited with having said, “I hate to write. I love having written.” I can relate.
The idea of the “brainstorming meeting” implies creativity works on a schedule. However, the opportunity to bounce ideas off others can be invaluable. If you have a brainstorming session coming up, don’t walk in empty-handed. You’ll get more from it if you come in with a few nuggets of inspiration to polish.
One of the brain’s many mysteries is creativity — how exactly do we come up with new ideas? While it may be a long, long time before we truly understand the details of what’s happening inside our heads, we can at least break down the more tangible steps that occur from the point you have nothing, to the formation of the greatest idea ever (at least, as far as you’re concerned).
Over dinner a couple of months ago, one of my friends said he needed some help coming up with a name for a new website. He told me a bit about the site and asked if I could help think of something over dinner. He also asked my other friends to join in so we could get a whole bunch of ideas on the table and choose the best one.