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.
1. Showering signals “a new day” or “new beginning.”
2. You’re usually alone, with time to reflect.
3. Interruptions are rare.
4. The rush of water creates a kind of “white noise” that makes concentration easier.
5. Shower stalls look like little incubation chambers.
6. Water is associated with “contemplation” (i.e. sitting near a river, lake, or ocean.)
7. Showering is a metaphor for “getting rid of the dirt” — the stuff that covers up what’s beneath.
8. Showering is a ritual. Lots of creative people like to have little rituals to get their head in the right place.
9. You can write your ideas on the walls with a water soluble pen.
10. There’s not a lot of judgment or analysis going on in a shower.
11. A hot shower opens the pores — and by extension, maybe the mind.
12. Showering wakes up you. It makes you more alert.
13. Showering is a relaxing and stress free experience. With nothing to stress about, your mind is free to roam new territories.
14. If you shampoo, you’re massaging your head. That’s gotta be good.
15. It’s hard to check your iphone or Blackberry in a shower.
16. Albert Einstein did his best thinking near a shower. (“Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?”)
17. Water is associated with “flow.” Being in the “flow state” is often a precursor to creative thinking.
18. There is no deliverable expected of you.
19. If you shower with a friend, and he/she happens to be in a brainstorming mode, lots of great ideas get sparked.
20. 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?