My Greatest Ideas… In Bed.

I’m an idea person, not a detail person.

I have spectacular, amazing and world-changing ideas all the time!

The only thing is that  almost all of them happen when I’m laying in bed, trying to sleep.

From theoatmeal.com
From theoatmeal.com

The rest come to me when  I’m doing the dishes or in the shower.

I’m sure this is the case for a lot of us. I’ve heard a lot of people mention they do their best thinking on the John.

When I’m doing dishes, in the shower or laying in bed in the dark, my mind is free to roam anywhere it likes. During the rest of my day, my mind usually focused on whatever task is at hand. Even if I take some time to out to quietly mediate, dialogue with my body, or commune with the universe,  I’m directing my attention at somewhere in particular.

My laser focus  (haha, not really, let’s just call it mindfulness)  when I’m paying attention to tasks at hand, coupled with my habit of distracting myself at most other times (typically with books, the internet, Netflicks, hooping, arts and crafts or talking on the phone to my sister) doesn’t leave a ton of time for my mind to just be creative and wander.

I suppose my subconscious is  busy processing everything throughout the day, but it’s only when my mind is relaxed and not focused on any one thing in particular that all those grand ideas surface. There have been a few times lately when I’ve needed to get up from my bed and furiously scribble these ideas in the dark (hopefully legibly enough to read them in the morning) so I could relax and put them out of  my mind. I’ve also had a few killer ideas lately that have been so exciting that I just couldn’t fall asleep for hours. Fortunately, I woke up the next day feeling as rested and refreshed as I would have if I was sleeping deeply the whole time.

I know some people might advise me to make time before bed to let my mind relax and wander so when it’s bed time I could just fall right asleep. It would probably be better sleep hygiene and it’s not a bad idea, but I am a creature of habit and I really love my hour or so at night cuddled into my blankets where I can do some free range thinking. I’ve actually  built a cushion for it into my sleep schedule: I usually reserve 9-10 hours for “sleep”, although I rarely sleep for all of it. I just spend a chunk of it dreaming, while I’m still awake.

I guess it’s also a good thing I don’t have a dishwasher. It would rob me of my other greatest opportunity to think freely, let my mind wander and play.

When do you have your greatest ideas? In bed, driving down the highway or on the John?

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