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  • Ideas in your sleep

    I get lots of ideas when I go to sleep, but don't don't want to start fiddling with my PDA or a note pad in the middle of the night. Do any of you find get this problem? Maybe I'm not tired enough when I go to bed? Maybe if I had a mind like water I wouldn't be thinking of things in the night?

    Would be very interested to hear if anyone else has this issue.

    Rangi

  • #2
    For me, some of my best ideas come when I'm in the shower.

    I've always thought that it had to do with the mind being relaxed because I've talked to others that have the same thing happen. It always seems like some of the best ideas come just before sleeping, during sleep, or when you're in the shower. These are places where your mind is probably most relaxed. People who meditate regularly also report noticing that their thinking process generates more creative ideas.

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    • #3
      A handheld voice recorder is good for capturing thoughts after the lights are out. If you have a significant other who might be disturbed, you could try a lighted pen. Sometimes I get my best ideas during the window of time just before I fall asleep or during the few moments when I am awake in the middle of the night.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tspall
        For me, some of my best ideas come when I'm in the shower.

        I've always thought that it had to do with the mind being relaxed because I've talked to others that have the same thing happen. It always seems like some of the best ideas come just before sleeping, during sleep, or when you're in the shower. These are places where your mind is probably most relaxed. People who meditate regularly also report noticing that their thinking process generates more creative ideas.
        I keep a marker in the shower so I can write on the wall when ideas come to mind.

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        • #5
          Hmmm, some thoughts came to mind on reading the above . . .

          First, really?? Truth or fiction ?
          Second, A PERMANENT marker? Ye gods! But - on the other hand - would a non-permanent one write on a damp wall, and is there someone using the shower after you and erasing your brilliant eureka moment?

          By the way, there are notepads made of waterproof material, designed for those who have to write in the rain or other wet places [available in Staples and such places] in case anyone really wants to be prepared for inspiration in ALL parts of the house.

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          • #6
            I can completely identify with the thoughts expressed on this string. I also have many of my most important breakthrough thoughts when resting prior to sleep, waking from sleep, and in the shower. I've always attributed that to the fact that my mind is more relaxed and hasn't quite gotten up to speed with all the things that might be coming at me during the day.

            I've had obstructive sleep apnea for years (treated) and so have an active interest in sleep and the theories surrounding it (and there are many). One theory suggests that during sleep our mind goes through a process that amounts to a "scandisk" and "defrag" operation. Whether it's true or not, that concept gives me great confidence that from time to time a particular problem will be processed during the night and I can often (not always) expect to wake up with unique approaches or fresh insights if any are to be found.

            Personally, I believe that as I have begun to incorporate GTD and relieved my mind of much in the way of nitpicking details over the past 4 months, this process has actually improved. There has been an unanticipated and sometimes troublesome side effect - I've also become more aware of potentially huge problems lurking beneath the surface in some situations that I now wonder if I had previously been suppressing by keeping too many mudane details in my head. (I may start a string on this sometime in the future to see who else identifies with it)

            In any event, I have no reservations about waking up during the night and jotting something down, and I always have something to write on handy in the mornings. I have steppd out of the shower and called my voice mail to leave myself a message, but hadn't thought about actually having a means to write it down while in the shower - that seems like an intriguing idea.

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            • #7
              a 'dream journal' can be a wonderful thing, especially for an artist. one cannot predict when 'the muse' will strike, but some of my best ideas (and creative solutions to problems that were plaguing me) have come at that wonderful slide into sleep, or in a dream state, or just coming up from a REM phase. with practice, you can wake up just enought o capture in writing the important nuances of the dream and then fall right back to sleep.

              Dave

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              • #8
                Shower and Driving

                Ideas in the shower or while driving are common. Your left brain is in charge, it gets you need to be. It over powers to the right brain, the creative side.

                When doing repetitive tasks, like driving, showering, shaving, etc your left brain is occupied and kept quiet. Your right brain is freed to be creative.

                There are many ways to make it happen, listening to classical music for example. I have read where one person used to put on 5 radios, all on different stations so his left brain would be overloaded and his right brain was free.

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                • #9
                  I have had a note book next to my bed on and off for many years. Many times I have skipped writing down things since I felt too tired.

                  After getting to know about GTD about a month ago, I now have a tiny note book with me always, including next to the bed. I have forced myself to light the lamp and write down any thought no matter how tired I am.

                  So far this is actually helping me being calm and falling asleep. Now I feel like I have a working system and really will not loose any ideas and thoughts I may have, whenever I may have them.

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                  • #10
                    Collecting during sleep?

                    My 2˘....

                    Before I really started to get all 5 stages of GTD, and I was burdened by the ever-increasing weight of undefined commitments, unprocessed "todos", and un-done activities, I tried to cope by being an obsessive "collector" - which was the little piece of GTD that I had picked up. This included jotting thoughts down into my Palm late at night when I should have been sleeping.

                    I think of something I read of the composer Phillip Glass, who, as a young composer had a day job as a cab driver, by necessity trained his mind and work habits to only write down his musical thoughts at a particular hour of the early morning, when he worked on his compositions. To this day, later in his career, that discipline has remained, and musical ideas continue to come to him only at that time.

                    As I am in the processing of developing my GTD habits, and as my system becomes a greater and greater reflection of captured, defined, and clarified committments - a system which I can trust more and more - I have committed myself to turning OFF the collection habit at night and in bed, so that I do not feed that habit at the expense of good quality sleep. (See book review of "lights out" on my website http://www.arcanum.ca/lights_out.html ).

                    This also fosters more and more of an attitude of trust of myself, and my GTD system - now that I am beginning to leave behind the panic that my unorganized life used to be. Anything that is worthy of my attention, WILL return to me when I am in a position to capture it.

                    Jeff
                    your aspiring black-belt collector.......

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