I’ve heard from numerous people that they get their best thinking done while doing their business in the bathroom. And it made me give the subject some thought. Where do you get your best thinking done? If the privacy and allure of an empty bathroom is the place that stimulates the mind then don’t run away from it. Embrace it. Hell, eat more food that will induce a digestive response. OK, I’m completely joking about that one.
According this article by Inc, Yoshiro Nakamatsu was a highly prolific inventor cut from the same cloth as Edison, but with some added eccentricities. To come up with some of the more than 3,000 inventions, including the floppy disk, that are credited to him, he would deliberately deprive himself of oxygen underwater. He claimed that he would visualize an invention half a second before death and then write it down on an underwater notepad.
Here’s another weird one from the same article:
This one probably isn’t surprising, but some inventors did thinking in strange bathrooms or in strange ways in normal bathrooms. Steve Jobs would sit on top of a toilet and dangle his bare feet in the water while thinking. Nakamatsu had a custom made “calm room” for thinking that was basically a bathroom tiled in 24-karat gold, which he believed blocked out broadcast signals that harmed creativity.
Look, getting thinking done in the bathroom isn’t surprising but doing the bare feet dangling thing from jobs seems a bit excessive. But to each their own. After all, we’re talking about Steve Jobs here, perhaps one of the most prolific thinkers in modern history.
Where do I get my thinking done?
Oddly enough I get the most productive brainstorming sessions when I take long drives by myself. During the pandemic I’ve been getting pick up food from a Chinese Restaurant that’s about a half an hour drive from my house. That’s an hour of driving that I just love doing. I crank the music up in my car and just let my mind wander. I don’t know why but it works. And like I said, it’s not something that I try to fight at all. In fact, it’s the other way around.
Make it a habit
I’m not saying that I need to take long drives every single day. But I am saying that getting take out food once a week with the added bonus of a nice brainstorming session is good for me. And whatever situation puts your mind in the best place to do its most creative thinking is likely good for you. But take it a step further. If you’re not doing it now, schedule these sessions. Mark them in your calendar. Make them a priority. Just imagine if you did this only once a week. That’s 52 chances to come up with some creative ideas that perhaps you’d have never thought of before.
Where do you get your best thinking done?