The Soak Cycle
When it comes time to washing dishes you take the grimy dish and put it in water to let it soak. Time and water+soap do the hard work. With time the water and soap break down the grease and grime. Similarly letting your project soak will allow your brain to work on the project even while you’re doing other tasks.
Soaking is when a project is thought about but not actively worked on. The project is reviewed at specific intervals. This gives your natural creative instincts time to work on it.
The human brain is a powerful tool. Giving it time to work on a project will lead to a more creative, better solution. Schedule times to think about your project. Depending on the scope or length of the project you may schedule 5 minutes a day for a week thinking about it or an hour every two weeks for 3 months (or anything in between).
When you schedule thinking time, be sure to give yourself enough time to think. Write down notes of your conclusions so you can refer to it in the future. Try to take different approaches each time you begin a thinking session. Many times you’ll get that “Aha moment” (a good idea) when you least expect it, so don’t worry if you feel blocked. People report inspiration frequently in the shower. Giving yourself time to think will give you more shower days to let your brain think about it.
During your thinking time find ways to break down the project into small parts. Do a few little steps for the project to give you a better understand of what it entails. Do a five minute task. Do any tasks that take just a few minutes to delegate. They should be delegated as soon as possible so the receiver can plan accordingly and it’s not an emergency at the last second. This process is called layering where you “layer” your successes. It allows you to know you are on the right track and gives you tangible results.
Put layering and thinking together by scheduling time to talk to people. Talk to thoughtful people about the project, even if they don’t have expertise about it. Just talking about the project will allow your brain to crystallize your thoughts. In addition, others may provide a new perspective on the project you are tackling and give you a new wave of ideas.
Enlist others to look at your project as you’re working on it. This gives you an outsider’s view. Get a coworker or friend that you can bounce your work off of. Try to get someone whose ideas you respect but who thinks a little different than you. Show them your progress so they can monitor if you’re fulfilling your mission.
You don’t have to listen to them. Just listen to why they are saying it. They may say you should make an element red. They don’t necessarily mean it has to be red- but it has to contrast from the background. Again you see how outside ideas can trigger new thinking and ideas.Full article here