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