Where the best ideas come from

Sometimes I sit in front of my computer and stare off into space. The cursor blinks in anticipation of my next move and my hand hovers over the mouse. Instead of DOING, I just sit there and stare – a little pool of drool begins to form in the corner of my mouth. Lots of people have different definitions for what this is. I call it the “Where was I going with this” face or my favorite the “DUH” face. Others call it writers block. Being stumped is no fun. Someone is always out there wanting us to get creative. “Why can’t you be more creative like him?” For times when you need to explode with creativity, cure your writers block or just find out where you left your keys, head to your favorite spot and think. Here’s where my magic happens:

While driving in the car.

I listen to songs that I would be too embarrassed to tell anyone that I still listen to. The world is my oyster in my car and no song or idea is too outlandish. It’s great because I have no one there telling me what I should be doing, no kids telling me what I need to do… just me and my thoughts. Boy do the ideas flow. I can’t tell you how many work ideas or blog posts I’ve come up with there. I even took my accident from a month ago and turned it into a positive. Well – a positive for you I hope. That car is still totaled.

Guy time on the potty


Fellas you know what I’m talking about. Mother nature starts knocking and the first thing I’m reaching for is something to read. Just like with driving the car, this is my time. The kids might be burning the house down and my wife chasing after the dog with a broom but I’m settled in and creating creative things. Hey did you know that there really was someone named Thomas Crapper who increased the popularity of the toilet? He even invented the ballcock. Crapper with the ballcock? Oh good grief nevermind.

Laying in bed at night.

Stressful day get you down? Concerned over that big project that’s due tomorrow? There’s no better way to get more sleep than by tossing it around and around in your head while LAYING IN BED! Whoo hoo. Sometimes when it isn’t keeping you awake and making you worry, you’re also perfectly capable of thinking big things. I thought of this very blog post just before bed one night. Not impressed? Neither am I really… I don’t sleep much.

While working out at the gym.

There are two things I really love about the gym, besides the bench pressing and steroid use, and that is the people watching and thinking big thoughts. The gym has always been one big hilarious social experiment for me. It’s filled with people who have just rolled out of bed, 80’s stretch exercise shorts on men (Thanks but I don’t want peanuts), wife beaters, mismatched clothes and smelly dudes. The mens locker room smells like a dirty rubber sock mixed with bad BO and sweat. Under no circumstances is it a good smell and quite frankly, after every visit there, I wonder how in the hell you ladies find us even remotely attractive. Looking at myself naked is gross enough but … my God. Despite the smells, ambiance, and girls, it’s where big ideas can be had. Most times it’s just me, the equipment and my thoughts, in between sets or while running nowhere on the elliptical.

Doing yard work

Boring! You wants to actually do yard work? I’d rather just hire someone. But seriously everyone, this is a little used excuse to spend 3-4 hours outside with no kids and no wife. I love both of them (my wives … err.. I mean my kids and my wife… oh nevermind) but it can be nice to get away without actually getting away. Need to rake leaves? Get out there and do it – bring plenty of trash bags, a really small rake and a notepad. Because while you’re huffing and puffing, you’ll want to stop to write stuff down. Believe me – the ideas will come.

So what did I miss? What golden places do you use to not only get away but where you do some serious thinking? The comments below are all yours.

Others that just didn’t make the top 5 list:

While having sex.

When your wife/husband is talking to you.

Thanks for Jon Skilling and r0kk @ Flickr for the great pictures! And to my dear and darling wife… I love you.

About the author

bsitko
  • I’m cracking up while reading this. Here’s my tip. Posterous. Make it a private account only you can see and just email in those ideas. You can use their app on your phone too. It’s your digital private journal. You’ll start stocking up ideas like crazy.

    Btw, I appreciate the sentiments.

    • Thanks Mark.. it’s a good idea. I sometimes used Livejournal but I could never get into the habit of using it regularly. I’ll check out Posterous. Anything that has an app on my phone is alright with me. No problem on the sentiments… thanks for stopping by.

  • to be honest my best ideas come from interaction with people. I take ever conversation, tweet, text, post etc and look for its application. Paying attention to body language and to others interactions have a profound affect on my ideas. Your list is very cool though. Quiet time allows for big things!

    • You’re so right Jonathan. I’ve gotten tons of ideas from the very conversations that you and I participate in. Obviously this list was meant to be tongue and cheek but seriously I’ve gotten some great stuff from those quiet times. Cutting out the noise and thinking sometimes works best for me. Thanks for commenting today.

  • Bsitko

    I have to reply again … Posterous rules.

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