This blog post may be short, but I think it will inspire you today! Do you know where your best ideas happen? When you think about brilliant ideas (or even good ones) you’ve had, when did the idea come to you? And how can you make more time to think creatively without interruption? That’s what I’m exploring in this blog post. I’ll be sharing my process, where my best ideas come to me, the research around why our most creative ideas don’t come to us at our desks, and more.
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Where do your best ideas happen?
Maybe it was your idea to start your business or clarity on a problem you've had in your personal life recently. Perhaps it was the name of your course finally hitting you. For many of you, myself included, you might get your best ideas in the shower, while driving, or on a walk. As I was thinking about this blog post, I Googled ‘Why do the best ideas come in the shower?’
I wanted to figure out how to create more time for great ideas to come. The study I found in my Google search stated that 72% of people get their most creative ideas in the shower. Those people also reported feeling more creative in the shower than at work.
Why Do The Best Ideas Come In The Shower?
Especially as CEOs, we need to think creatively without interruption to scale, grow, and find success in our business. The study from Thin Difference stated, “Showers are a safe place that provides a dopamine-high relaxed state, and distracted mind; factors that are ideal for creativity and idea formation. Dopamine, critical to creativity, is released when we’re relaxed, feeling great, listening to music, exercising, and, yes, taking a shower.
But, on top of dopamine, showers provide a chance to be distracted and give you, as one Harvard researcher puts it, the ‘break you need to disengage from a fixation of the ineffective solution.’ Ideas must marinate, bake, and form before moving forward.” [Source]
Our world, our business, our phones, and even our kids can distract us. Therefore, time in the shower provides you with the environment needed to think creatively without interruption.
How Can We Make More Time To Think Creatively Without Interruption?
As business owners, our evolution comes from our creative ideas as CEO. However, the average days you're working often look like sitting at your desk, being on your phone, or having background noise as opposed to open thinking time. So it’s no wonder that the shower helps us think creatively; it’s likely the only place of total quiet for your mind.
My best ideas have always come to me on a walk or in the shower. I often call my walks thinking time. This means going on a walk and using that time to think and plan. I've had clarity on products to create, team issue solutions, why I'm feeling a certain way, and even beautiful prayer time with the Lord. I typically put in AirPods, turn on a podcast, tune out my surroundings, and push Colin in his stroller.
My Challenge For You.
Whenever you're reading this, I want to encourage you to give yourself more quiet time in your life. This means more time to be alone, be tech-free, and think creatively without interruption. You don't have to leave your phone somewhere else, but let it be silent during this time. You might be thinking, “Elizabeth, when am I supposed to have time to do this outside of a 10-minute shower?”
As ambitious business owners, we often want to be learning and taking action simultaneously. So instead of allowing ourselves to unload the dishes in silence, we put on a podcast, or instead of walking your kids in the stroller silently, you think you need to catch up on phone calls.
Again, I want to challenge you to take a break from the noise and give yourself quiet time at any opportunity. Especially if you're coming up on a big business decision, give yourself the space to think freely. It can be on a walk, at the gym, on your commute, or in the shower, but give yourself the freedom to dream. If you're a believer, I truly encourage you to pray out loud to the Lord and ask for His guidance and clarity.
We are so fast-paced as business owners who wear a lot of hats. My hope in this writing blog post is to encourage you to pause, think, and allow free space away from your to-do list.
Episode 142: Living A Well-Watered Life As A Business Owner With Gretchen Saffles (Social Media Boundaries, How To Study The Bible, Serving God In The Mundane, Motherhood, And The Struggle To “Balance It All”)
October 4, 2022