We’ve all been there: in the middle of doing some rudimentary task or mindless activity, we’re struck with an epiphany of some kind. A sudden realization, a brilliant idea, and/or a previously overlooked revelation presents itself to our mind’s eye. While these occurrences have been happening for thousands of years going back to the time of Archimedes, the internet has a new term for them: shower thoughts.
While the proverbial setting is a hot shower, it can happen anywhere. We can be standing in line at the grocery store, stuck in traffic on the way home, or out taking a walk in the park when we’re hit with a thought that stops us cold. While it’s true many of these so-called shower thoughts are little more than observations about relatively unimportant facts of life, sometimes they involve momentous breakthroughs. In these situations when the company whiteboard and laptop are out of reach while a great idea is being generated, how can we help to harness the power of a shower thought?
The best way to capture and harness these great ideas is to utilize technology. After all, the development of written language and a means to record it onto tablets and clay was the original code and hardware for preserving ideas. In today’s world, this means an idea management system which can be accessed from anywhere at any time. Furthermore, such a system helps users organize and classify these findings. That way we don’t end up with a big pile of digital scribbles we never want to try and untangle. These systems also help users to convert these organized ideas into tangible results in the form of project development tools and resources. This way, regardless of where the inspiration hits, a person has a means to not only log it but use it to greatest effect.
Okay so here is a hard truth about many so-called shower thoughts: you probably aren’t the first one to have that exact thought. Rather than start from scratch based on a great idea, it’s better to begin researching the data and background information in order to find out what’s possible and what’s already been learned and acted upon. There is no shame in standing on the shoulders of giants. While it may be tough to realize your seemingly genius idea is actually pretty common, it helps to prevent hours of unnecessary project development.
The last leg of effectively harnessing the power of your shower thoughts is to run them by several people. Pay close attention to their reactions. Does it inspire the same sort of amazement and influence it had on you? To make it as scientific as possible, seek out multiple demographics when seeking feedback and opinions. Similar to the research stage, this is important for figuring out whether this idea is truly original and worth pursuing; those who you discuss the idea with might be able to recall something which already exists which does the same thing. Furthermore, a test audience will poke holes at an idea in ways you probably won’t. Their perspective gives them the chance to see where a great idea has room for improvement.
Shower thoughts are oftentimes a novelty notion, something which is interesting but ultimately not very important. Sometimes, however, shower thoughts can be windows into truly incredible ideas. Not only do you want a way to keep track of them, those with great ideas need to then go out and do the legwork to ensure what they’re doing is a real game changer.