For many of us, our best ideas don’t come to us when we are in a boardroom or sitting at a desk — they tend to come to us when nothing else is occupying our minds. For me, the problem with this reality is that it is a rare occasion when work or the kids isn’t consuming the vast majority of my mindshare — so the only time that I seem to “free” from distractions is when I’m sleeping (or supposed to be).
What this means is that my best ideas ,and ultimately my best work ,come to me suddenly, without notice, in the middle of the night. When I was younger, I used to fight it and roll around for hours on end while my mind fought to get it’s ideas across over and over and over again. As I grew older, I picked up on a trick that usually enables me to have my cake and eat it too — notes! When I now have my “idea” nights, I’ll quickly jot down (ok, actually in my phone), the ideas and any important details thereof and.. presto… my mind stops worrying that I’ll forget and lets me get some sleep. It’s been highly effective for me and I highly recommended it to other’s when you have that idea or are worrying about things that you need to do, may have forget, etc.
Of course, it doesn’t always work, as it didn’t last night when I woke up at 2am. But, for those nights, I go to my fallback — a Venti Pike Place.