Ever gotten stuck on a seemingly unsolvable problem?
The reason for that could be you’re thinking about it too much.
British researchers conducted a study where participants had to come up with as many uses for two cups as possible.
One group had to read from the phone book for 15 minutes before brainstorming. The other group was allowed to start coming up with ideas right away.
Result: The group that read from the phone book came up with more original uses for two cups than the other group.
Give your brain a break
“Taking your mind off” a problem works for many situation. We all need a break from time to time.
What this study suggests is that focusing on a mundane task for a while jump-starts the brain so it’s ready for more complex tasks.
So if you’ve mundane tasks that need completing, do those first. Then come back to the problem you’re dealing with. You may find that “a-ha!” idea after all.