Showering with Ideas

Aug 10 2010

“There’s no half singing in the shower. you’re either a rock star or an opera diva.”  - Josh Groban

I don’t often sing in the shower (don’t worry – you haven’t missed much!).  However, I get many of my best ideas there, and based on conversations with friends, I think they do too.  Why is that?

Mitch Ditkoff gives 20 reasons for this in an entertaining post, although I think he has missed one key point.  A key factor in creativity is patience.  After seeding our brain with relevant information, we need to give it time to digest, reflect, and make connections.  Sleep is the perfect opportunity for our minds to assimilate all the information we throw at it throughout the day, and our dreams often reflect this.  When we take a shower in the morning, this is often the first chance for new connections to rise to the surface and come into our consciousness.  The ideas which come then, are often those which have been bouncing around our unconscious during the night.  As Mitch mentions, other things contribute: we are often alone with time to reflect, the showering water creates white noise, which means that we are undisturbed by outside intrusions, and are minds are more open in what is a relaxing environment.  However, I believe the key may be that we are able to bring to consciousness the fruits of eight hours of undeliberated mental processing.

So I would like to add to Step 3 of Cracking Creativity.  Next time you are stuck for ideas, review your material and then get a really good night’s sleep and find to time take a long hot shower before you plunge into the next day’s work.  I’m confident you’ll come up with some great ideas.

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