Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Thinking In The Shower

Why do people get good ideas while thinking in the shower? I think several factors are involved. The first is comfort. You never hear anyone say, "I had a great idea while I was in the shower this morning, and it was when there wasn't enough hot water and I was shivering, and I was running out of soap and there was a knock at the door." Instead, the positive effects of the shower tend to happen when one is warm and comfortable.

The second factor is privacy. In the shower, your thoughts are unlikely to be interrupted. If the phone rings, you have an excuse for not answering it.

The final factor is the sensory isolation of the shower. The sound of the running water creates a type of white noise that drowns out distracting background noises. The visual environment of the shower is also bland and neutral. I would guess that people with those "shower radios" who listen to the news while showering are not inspired by as many ideas there. I have not seen showers with built-in TV or computer screens yet, but it is probably only a matter of time. Once those are common, the phenomenon of coming up with good ideas in the shower will probably disappear.

5 comments:

Michelle K said...

And if you tend to forget your ideas if you don't write them down...

Last Christmas a friend gave me waterproof paper ('Rite in the Rain' brand) and a pen that writes under any condition. So I can now write down things as they come to me!

Phylaxer said...

Better yet, think how society would benefit if all those in-shower ideas where stored on your in-shower computer, perhaps with voice recognition? Granted, it would probably record poorly sung Top 40 hits, but occasionally a great idea.

Starbuck said...

I usually come up with blog posts in the shower.

And forget what they were as I get dry.

Shower Thinker said...

I get alot of my "aha" solutions for projects at work in the shower. My wife bought a waterproof notepad called AquaNotes for me. Otherwise, I would lost the ideas by the time I was able to write them down.

Shower Thinker said...

I have my greatest "aha" moments in the shower. I have a waterproof notepad called AquaNots that allows me to write in the shower so I dont have to worry about losing any ideas.