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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at

Where do you get your best ideas?

Categories: Uncategorized, office life


Over the years, I’ve learned that one of the most effective ways to quickly change the tone of a conversation is to utter the phrase, “So I was thinking about you in the shower this morning…”

Especially if you say it during a business meeting.

Of course, very shortly after saying that - especially during a business meeting - I find myself needing to also say “no, not like that” before going on to share my latest and greatest brilliant idea.

I’ve gotten some of my best ideas in the shower.  I’ve written entire books while shaving my legs and completely redesigned a marketing strategy while conditioning my hair.  I also get great ideas when I’m driving.  A 20 minute commute is often far more productive than a conference call brainstorming session.

I know a lot of people who do their best problem solving outside of the office.  I had a business partner once who got so many brilliant ideas at 2am that we used to joke that she had to hold off sharing them until after coffee to make sure they were still brilliant in the light of day.  My husband has come out of the bathroom on more than one occasion with a new solution to a nagging work issue.  It makes sense, to me, that we’re able to come up with new ideas when our brains have a little more room to wander freely.

Of course, one of the problems with getting brilliant ideas in the shower or on the Interstate is that you can easily forget the details before you have a chance to share or implement them.  I suspect countless best-selling novels have disappeared down bathroom drains all over the world, simply because most laptops aren’t waterproof.

I’ve started making a concerted effort to save more of these mental gems.  I use the notepad app on my iPhone at stop lights and keep a sticky pad near my front door.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find a voice recorder that can be used in the shower, but keeping a notepad in the bathroom so I can quickly scribble down my thoughts works almost as well.

Now I just need to remember exactly what “Middle East - listen first - like that weight loss story” means.

Where do you get your best ideas?  And are you making an effort to capture them?

Photo by Faith Goble on Flickr.

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3 comments so far...

  • I usually have my best ideas mid-conversation with other people. Something they say will spark an idea within me, and then it’s hard to pay attention until I can write that idea down.

    Avitable  |  April 7th, 2010 at 9:10 am

  • In bed, just before I fall asleep. And no, I don’t try to write anything down because then I’d come out of that not asleep/not awake place and have to start all over again. I’m fairly good at remembering these things because I immediately tell myself, “remember this.” Then I write it down in the morning.

    Finn  |  April 7th, 2010 at 9:25 am

  • I get a lot of ideas in the shower too, or just after going to bed, when I clear my mind and let it travel at its own pace. Before kids, I used to get good ideas while on long walks / communes with nature, but now that my kids always go with me on such treks, I no longer go into creativity / problem solving mode during those times.

    SKL  |  April 7th, 2010 at 12:43 pm