Sleeping on It?

[starbox]Do you lose sleep over your work? I have blogged previously about being troubled over employee evaluations but have to admit the real “sleep thief” for me is unresolved design problems. Over the years I have come to appreciate that you can only beat your head against a problem for so long before the design starts to get worse instead of better.

There is scientific evidence to support my own experience of waking up after a night of tossing and turning with a new approach to things that quickly evolves into the “right” answer. They even have a term for it — “The Eureka Moment.” It doesn’t work for everyone, but here are some factors that seem to help me:

  1. The answers are usually “in the mix” of ideas previously considered and discarded.
  2. The answer may be something related to a previous project you had done or a machine you had seen along the way.
  3. The answer is frequently a combination of “ingredients” from past projects.

I am not one of those people who can dream up a killer concept outside of my area of expertise, though. My mind has to be prepared for the task at hand by hours and hours of looking at the requirements and failing to come up with a solution I like. I have been blessed — or cursed — to be involved in an incredible array of projects over the past 44 years, and my hobbies include studying machinery in other fields. I like to think the “Sleep on It” system works best for the “prepared mind.” If I could dream up winning lottery ticket numbers I’d be too busy racing to write this blog.

Does it work for you too? Or is it a fantasy I delude myself into believing?

Here’s a link to an interesting study on the topic:

About Charles D. Schultz 640 Articles
Charles D. Schultz is President of Beyta Gear Service and one of Gear Technology's technical editors.

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