“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” — Fredrick Nietzsche
Often when we can’t find the solution to the challenge in front of us, our instinct is to hunker down and think harder. Maybe we add another double-shot espresso to the mix to enable us to keep pushing through. Research shows, however, that most of the time, a more productive way to get unstuck, is to do the opposite. Relax. Let your mind disengage temporarily. Take a walk. Flip through a favorite magazine. Enjoy a shower. (You’ve heard people say they get their best ideas in the shower, right?) Think about something else for awhile. Get out of your own way.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that your brain is no longer working on the challenge while you aren’t focusing on it—it is. It’s just working on it differently, without your conscious intervention.
There is just one caveat: you have to have done some work upfront to reap the benefits.