Ideas and the Bathroom?

I was recently watching a YouTube video and at the end the girl talked a bit about her creative process.  She said she gets most of her ideas in the shower or while going to the bathroom.  Initially I laughed, and then I started thinking about it.  What do these two things have in common that result in her ideas? She’s in a place that is quiet and without distractions.

I don’t like to be bored. I like to have things to do, activities to keep my mind occupied at most all times. I’m not exactly sure when or why this started, but I have a couple of ideas.

One is our culture.  We’re expected to be busy (if not productive) as much as we can so as much as possible will get done in each day. If I’m not busy, I don’t feel productive.

The second one is much more personal: I don’t always want to be alone with my thoughts for too long. What if my insecurities or fears come to visit and I don’t have something I can distract them with?

The problem is that the source my insecurities and fears don’t go away simply because I’m ignoring them. It’s just pushing them down. The only way for me to move beyond them is to know what they are and work through them. Quiet time is good for that.

The interesting thing is, when I do have quiet time the insecurities and fears don’t pop up nearly as much as I think they will.  Instead, I have an experience more like the YouTuber where I get good ideas and inspiration for whatever I’m working on.

Take 10 minutes today to do nothing. Go sit on the couch and be bored (no TV!). Make a practice of it. Try it for a week and you’ll be surprised with the benefits.

Do you avoid quiet time or being bored?

Photo credit: Bathroom of Hotel De Tuilerieën by johncooke via flickr

9 thoughts on “Ideas and the Bathroom?

  1. Oh my, this has to be one of the most interesting posts I’ve read today. Finding space to have quiet time is important. It doesn’t matter where it is. I agree the bathroom is great, especially if you live with people. Where else can you go where most people won’t barge in. Just find the space that makes you listen to your inner voice. It’s begging to be heard! Great post, Evie!


  2. Awesome point. I think I get ideas in the bathroom b/c you’re locked in the room with yourself. You start to ask yourself questions and suddenly you start getting ideas.

  3. Great post. I used to commute to CA from VA. That entailed my driving to and from DC (about a 2 hour trip), where I definitely codified my best ideas.
    Now, I do that when I go to and from Philly to see my team.

    1. Yes! commuting time is another great spot for ideas. I forgot that! When I had a 45 minute commute there was a time I would leave the radio off for the last 15 going to and 15 coming from. Going to work it was my time to prepare for my day and set my priorities and remember what I forgot (or was a low priority) from the previous day. Going home it was my time to put work away and think about what I needed/wanted to do when I got home.
      Wow, I completely forgot I did that. Thanks for the reminder Roy!

  4. I have to admit that quiet time is one of the most rich and ripe times for me. I find that my creativity and productivity is not necessarily one constant steady stream of output — it’s more like fits and starts with periods of fallow time, quietness, and not much “giving.” I have come to see that it is in the quiet time that so much under the surface is actually seeding. If I dampen the quiet times in my life and focus only on a constant “do, do, do” attitude I eventually have nothing left to offer. Thanks for writing this post as a great reminder for all!


    1. Thanks for the comment Lynne, I agree! I seem to always need to remind myself to make time for the quiet moments. I’m also leaving the radio/tv off more as I do my daily activities.

  5. This made me smile! I don’t even get quiet time in the bathroom. I’ll be all stressed and need some quiet time (and mind you, I’ve been working for hours and no one has talked to me). So, I go to the bathroom to take a hot bath and my 17 year old daughter comes in and needs to talk, my 6 year old comes in and wants to play on the floor with cars and my husband decides he needs to have a discussion. I cannot remember the last time I got quiet time in the bathroom. I can’t even use the restroom on my own. They seem to huddle in there then as well!

    I have to take a ride – and 99% of the time I can’t do that alone either!

    BUT – I am blessed with a family that loves me. So, I’m not complaining. My best quiet time is when I lay down at night and everyone else is asleep. If I fall asleep quickly I guess I figure I didn’t need much quiet time that day. If I lay there for a while I get to think about things and work them out.

    Great post,

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