[incubation period] Distraction may provide the break you need to disengage from a fixation on the ineffective solution
(…) distraction isn’t always a bad thing.
If you are stuck on a problem, an interruption can force an “incubation period,’’ In other words, a distraction [ed. like a shower] may provide the break you need to disengage from a fixation on the ineffective solution.
Source : When being distracted is a good thing, February 27, 2012, Boston Globe
Leisurely stroll: The inventor Nikola Tesla is said to have had the idea of creating alternating electrical currents during a walk.
The Greek scientist Archimedes is said to have had the sudden revelation principles of density and buoyancy (Archimedes' principle) as he entered his hot bath. He realized that as he entered the water of his bath, the level of the water rose and the volume of water displaced was equal to the immersed volume of his body. From then on, it became possible to measure the volume of any object by measuring the volume of water displaced.
Jogging would be the first place for me. I find that my most creative and thoughtful ideas come during running... There's something that makes me think differently - and over the years I've found that I've been solving problems or brainstorming while running.
Woody Allen, in a 2013 interview for esquire said : "In the shower, with the hot water coming down, you've left the real world behind, and very frequently things open up for you. It's the change of venue, the unblocking the attempt to force the ideas that's crippling you when you're trying to write".
J.K. Rowling (the author, or Harry Potter) says that she took advantage of a four-hour train journey to come up with an idea that would generate billions of dollars and bring boundless joy to readers around the globe.
Richard Branson (billionaire entrepreneur) said that nature, fun and family are his greatest inspiration. His best ideas came to him while swinging leisurely in a hammock - on his private island.
(...) the individual must believe that his perceptions are meaningful and valid and be willing to rely upon his own interpretations. He must trust himself sufficiently that even when persons express opinions counter to his own he can proceed on the basis of his own perceptions and convictions.
The importance of self-esteem for creative expression appears to be almost beyond disproof. Without a high regard for himself the individual who is working in the frontiers of his field cannot trust himself to discriminate between the trivial and the significant. Without trust in his own powers the person seeking improved solutions or alternative theories has no basis for distinguishing the significant and profound innovation from the one that is merely different. An essential component of the creative process […] is the conviction that one’s judgment is to be trusted.
Yet, certainly, the wise learn many things from their enemies; for caution preserves all things. From a friend you could not learn this, but your foe immediately obliges you to learn it. For example, the states have learned from enemies, and not from friends, to build lofty walls, and to possess ships of war. And this lesson preserves children, house, and possessions.
The present theory then must be considered to be a suggested program or framework for future research and must stand ...