Skip to content

Where to Find Your Next Idea

“I’m bored,” I sighed, almost every day of my adolescence. “There is nothing to do.”

Sound familiar?

Nowadays, I’d give anything to be bored. To have a large spans of time and space filled with nothing. It’s what bliss must feel like, I’m sure.

Why are we so clueless as young adults?

“I wish somebody would’ve told me, babe, that someday these’ll be the good old days.”

Turns out, boredom is crucial to creativity. Turns out an overbooked, overworked schedule crowds out innovation. Feeling stuck? Feeling burnt out? Feel like you’re out of ideas?

Where Ideas Come From

If you’ve ever caught yourself drifting off, “spacing out,” or daydreaming in the midst of an important task, your brain is taking a needed break. During mind-wandering, the brain doesn’t slow down. In fact, it’s quite active. The default mode network (DMN) in the brain is in full swing when you’re daydreaming.

“The DMN dives into our pasts, works through different future scenarios, and takes up problems that have eluded our conscious effort,” says Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. “Whenever we have a brainstorm about how to solve a problem at work, or the answer to a question that’s been just out of reach pops into our heads, that’s the DMN at work.”

Pang discovered that highly creative adults structure their days to allow for both periods of intense focus and periods of deep mind-wandering.

You Need Down Time

Could being less busy mean you might be more productive? Does a full schedule mean you waste more time creating less impact? Do we have it all wrong in this go-go-go modern world? How will you find your next idea?

I’m not suggesting you cut your day in half (although I’m not ruling it out, either). But what’s clear is that we need more down time. Stop, look out the window, and let your mind go where it will. Do that a few times every day. Go for walks in the middle of a big project. Stare off into space when the moment allows (and even when the moment doesn’t allow).

Your next big idea is hiding where you aren’t looking for it. Every time.

P.S. Want to stay connected?

Join the cause

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Blog posts

How to use Morning Pages to Brainstorm Content Ideas

I love to use my Morning Pages to brainstorm ideas. Any ideas, really. But I've been using it lately to come up with blog topics. Instead of sitting at my computer, willing the cursor to move, I can start off something like this: "What the heck should I write about? I'm drawing a blank. It's all been said. I have nothing to add. What's the point? (Morning Pages can go dark quickly. Stay with it.) "Why not write about using...

It’s the Little Things

I find myself saying on a regular basis, "It's the little things." The kind gesture from a nurse who stayed longer than she had to, to comfort my mom when she was not well. The way M says, "I like your dress," in the most genuine, interested voice he can. A store clerk who stops to ask if she can help, and then helps as though it's a total pleasure. The way the cleaning crew folds the toilet paper. The...

Three Good Things // nine

// THREE GOOD THINGS: a regular feature in which I share three good things about my month, mostly personal, in the hopes that you will also reflect on the good in your life. // One good thing about my month is that I am getting vaccinated this month. I am beside-myself ecstatic. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. We've got this. Another good thing is that I adore my clients. I really do. I won't...

Link Worthy // ten

[A compilation of interesting and useful links.] // When life feels like it'll be just right as soon as you [ fill in the blank ]. Sound familiar? You need to read this.   // “The bad news is that you’re falling through the air without a parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.” Wow. One of the best podcasts I've ever listened to. // Look out a window anywhere in the world. // Need to drown out your partner's...

Let's keep in touch!

If you'd like to hear from me on a semi-regular basis, sign up below. (I would never sell your data. That's not cool.)

Choose your next adventure