Technology in the Shower and the Future of the Aha Moment

future of the aha momentYou can now watch TV while you shower. Surely touchscreen computers are not far behind either, to keep you even more connected.

It’s really pretty cool. Who doesn’t want to kick back with a good movie while relaxing in the tub? How great would it be to be able to catch up on the morning’s news while you’re soaping up before work?

But for ages, the shower has been the place for a pause of seclusion, idle thought, and those infamous aha moments. So what does the smart shower mean for our creativity? A recent 99u feature got me wondering.

The article explores what it means to lose the thing that fosters the most innovative ideas: interruption-free space that lets our minds do the passive thinking that is critical for innovation. As if smartphones and tablets weren’t enough, our cars, TVs, and, yes, our showers are all offering us more access to the white noise stimulation of connected life.

And hey, there’s nothing wrong with connection—it’s a basic need that we all have, a part of being human. But if you want to think creatively and get those flashes of inspiration, you’re going to have to cut loose from it all sometimes.

So what’s that mean for the creatively inclined? It means getting deliberate about creating space for that passive thinking time.

A few ways to do it include:

  • Make one day a week tech-free—consider adopting the Sabbath Manifesto.
  • Integrate unplugged down time into your daily schedule. Just find an activity (eating lunch, taking a walk) that lets you step away from the screens.
  • Withhold decision-making. When faced with a question, it’s a gut reaction to roll with the first solution we come up with—but this is often the easiest, most obvious, or the most familiar solution. Instead of acting on the quick idea, take 10 minutes to reflect, and see what other ideas come to you.

how to make space for aha moments in a connected world

The world is increasingly connected—even the shower isn’t safe for much longer. But if we want those aha moments to find us, we need to deliberately find ways to invite them in by seeking out times for passive thought.

When do you get your best ideas?

P.S.—Really, read this 99u article. And heck, check out the rest of the site while you’re there. 99u is one of my favorite sources for thought-provoking articles about creative process.

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