Why switching off helps your brain switch on
Why is it that when you need to come up with a bright idea or a brilliant solution you can never think of one?
It could be for an issue with work, a blog post or a friend’s birthday. You’ve been busily working away, checking emails, social media, scouring the internet for inspiration and racking your brains to think of the Big Idea.
But just when you really need your brain cells to impress you it seems you can’t think of anything.
There’s nothing there. Nada. Zilch. You’ve had lots of good ideas in your time so why is it that now you need an idea you can’t think of one?
And yet, at seemingly random moments in your day, when you’re taking a shower for instance, that’s when you have your eureka moment. You’re nowhere near a pen and paper, or your smartphone, you’re not even thinking about the issue and you have a genius idea. Why couldn’t that happen when you really needed the idea sat at your desk?
For that exact reason – you needed an idea.
Putting pressure on yourself to think up a solution on demand is a sure fire way to make your mind go blank.
When your brain has been bombarded with technology it’s busy processing the information and trying to make sense of it all. Our brains think most creatively when they’re given time to be quiet, without masses of stimulation.
When you’re in the shower, brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, engaged in an activity that excludes your smartphone and needs little thought, your mind has a chance to wander. To sift through the data and make new connections. It’s the lack of stimulus that lets your brain get creative and come up with thoughts, ideas and solutions that wouldn’t easily appear under pressure.
As Albert Einstein said: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
So the next time you’re looking for a solution to a problem, or you’re trying to come up with a great idea, unplug, switch off and change your situation. Go for a walk, make a cup of tea, clean the kitchen or take a shower, and let your mind wander. Just make sure that when an idea pops up to jot it down as soon as you can!