The Eureka Moment (How Did You Get Your Best Idea?)

It’s a cliche that people get their best ideas in the shower, but that’s probably because it’s so true. You’re relaxed. Your mind isn’t actively focused on problem solving — it’s just wandering. You’re surrounded by white noise. You’re (probably) alone. When else does that happen?

I’ve been thinking of starting a series on how and when people get their best ideas. As we saw last week, the idea file clearly isn’t working for me, but that helps some people. Others get their ideas while running, or while driving. Usually, the process goes like this:

1. You gather information and mull over the problem for a while.

2. You step away from the problem and do something else.

3. Eureka! A tiny connection is forged and the heavens open.

How about you?

4 thoughts on “The Eureka Moment (How Did You Get Your Best Idea?)

  1. You are so right. Whenever I try to force myself to come up with an idea, I just sit and fester, fester, fester. But, let’s say when I am just going through the motions in Body Step class, suddenly I am hit with a fantastic idea. The trick is to hang on to it until I can get a pen and paper. Right now, I am desperate for an idea, so I am trying to sit back, relax, and let it come to me.

  2. Yes, go for a walk (or for a run, when I’m in better shape than I currently am). Getting outside and moving always helps.

    In the middle of the night, while trying to fall asleep — one reason it helps to keep a pad of paper and a pen by the bed.

  3. Running definitely works for me. I run without headphones or a watch (and I never carry a cell phone, either) so it’s just myself and nature out there.

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