It’s common to hear business owners say, “I do my best thinking in the shower.” In fact, one of my clients actually has a waterproof notepad that he uses in the shower to jot down ideas. I know I periodically get some great ideas for posts while in the shower. (Ironically, this is not one of them!)
The question is – why?!
Why do we get great ideas in the shower, and more importantly, how can we get great ideas the rest of the day?
One of the frustrations I hear from business owners and employees alike when I lead workplace training sessions is that they just don’t have the time to think and be creative. I find it isn’t just having the time to think and be creative that they are missing, but also the structure to think and be creative.
Realistically, I don’t think installing dozens of showers throughout the office is in the future!
So first, let’s look at why so many people do their best thinking in the shower. According to an article in Buffer, the magic combination for creativity occurs when you are in a relaxed state of mind, not focused on the original problem, and full of dopamine.
This means that you need to:
1) Turn off the decision making (executive function) part of your brain, which will help you make connections freely.
3) Increase your “happiness neurotransmitter.”
Easier said than done, I know!
How do you turn off your brain?
One way is to think through a challenge whenever your BPT is highest (visit this post to learn about BPT), then circle back whenever your BPT is the lowest. This means you attacked the challenge with your best brainpower, and then during your low BPT time, when your executive function skills are weakest, you revisit the issue in a relaxed state of mind.
Why revisit it during the low BPT time? This is when your brain is best able to make creative connections!
Did you catch what needs to happen here? TWO dedicated “thinking times.” One during your HIGH BPT and one during your LOW BPT. We will circle back to how to create TWO thinking times in a moment. (I get it – most of the people and organizations I work with are struggling to get ONE!)
The next step is to find your perfect “this is how I relax” ritual – deep breathing, listening to the ocean, sitting outside in the sun.
Finally, increase your dopamine . . . exercise is one way, though there are many others.
Now you have your structure –
• 2 dedicated thinking times
• relaxation ritual
• increasing dopamine.
Now, let’s circle back to how to create dedicated thinking times. This is one of the toughest things my clients and their employees face.
The secret . . .
What you focus on happens!
- Block off a couple of days each week where you and your employees can maximize their highest BPT times to focus on some of the challenges facing your organization. Hold these sacred. No meetings, no emails, no phone calls, no “hey do you have a minute” conversations. Just focused thinking time.
- Repeat the process for the lower BPT times – here’s where the great ideas are going to start flying!
- Place notepads throughout the organization. You never know when a great idea is going to hit – make sure everyone has the ability to write it down immediately!
What is the biggest challenge you face in creating time to creatively think about the challenges in your organization – and making sure the people working in your organization are able to do the same? I’d love to know – comment below!
Are you wondering how you can create more thinking time in your busy schedule? Click to schedule a complimentary Propel Your Productivity Session!