I’ll keep this one short. Most people can remember one or more moments where they drifted off into la-la land, completely distracted by their thoughts rather than focusing on the task at hand. This happens to us all the time – driving to or from work, taking a shower, lying in bed. Most people don’t realize when they go into autopilot mode, but I have come to find I actually do some of my best thinking while performing mundane tasks.
The human brain the most complex organ in the body, so it’s no surprise that it can tell our body to do one thing but be thinking about something completely different. Basic or repetitive tasks require little to no brain power, so I think that’s why it’s so easy to have drifting thoughts. Running requires putting one foot in front of the other, washing dishes requires a soapy sponge to rub dishes clean and showering should come naturally after so many years… All tasks requiring very little mental effort. I find I do my best thinking in the shower, while driving home and while doing dishes (when I actually wash dishes this is) – daily reflection is pretty common in these states, as is probing for ideas for the future.
Human are curious beings and doing the same thing day in and day out becomes tedious – we need something to distract our brains from the common and everyday tasks, even for seconds or minutes at a time. Sometimes you have a real lightbulb moment and you snap back into the operational side of things wanting to share or enforce your idea right away. Other times you are trying so hard to think of something, but the thought just doesn’t come. Focus (or lack of) appears to be the secret key to unlocking the hidden corners of the mind’s greatest ideas.
What techniques help you think best? What do you find works best for you when looking for inspiration? When reflecting?
I'm a 20-something woman working my way through life in Canada, traveling when I can afford it and seeking out my passions one day at a time.