During the past 25 years, I’ve asked more than 10,000 people where and when they get their best ideas. I get all kinds of answers, but the one that has always fascinated me is “the shower” — maybe because I also get so many of my good ideas there.
And so, at the risk of overstating my case, I hereby offer you 20 reasons WHY the shower is so conducive to new ideas.
- Showering signals “a new day” or “new beginning.”
- You’re usually alone, with time to reflect.
- Interruptions are rare.
- The rush of water creates a kind of “white noise” that makes concentration easier.
- Shower stalls look like little incubation chambers.
- Water is associated with “contemplation” (i.e. sitting near a river, lake, or ocean.)
- Showering is a metaphor for “getting rid of the dirt” — the stuff that covers up what’s beneath.
- Showering is a ritual. Lots of creative people like to have little rituals to get their head in the right place.
- You can write your ideas on the walls with a water soluble pen.
- There’s not a lot of judgment or analysis going on in a shower.
- A hot shower opens the pores — and by extension, maybe the mind.
- Showering wakes up you. It makes you more alert.
- Showering is a relaxing and stress free experience. With nothing to stress about, your mind is free to roam new territories.
- If you shampoo, you’re massaging your head. That’s gotta be good.
- It’s hard to check your iphone or Blackberry in a shower.
- Albert Einstein also did his best thinking near a shower. (“Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?”)
- Water is associated with “flow.” Being in the “flow state” is often a precursor to creative thinking.
- There is no deliverable expected of you.
- If you shower with a friend, and he/she happens to be in a brainstorming mode, lots of great ideas get sparked.
- Showering is easy. Not a lot of thinking is required to make it happen, which frees your mind to think about other things.
Any other possibilities come to mind?
Mitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.