If you're like me, you lay down at night ready to sleep, you turn off your lights, your head hits the pillow, and as soon as you close your eyes the ideas start flowing. You remember things you forgot to write down, you solve problems, and sometimes you write content in your head. In many cases my most productive ideas happen at this less than ideal point in time.
This happens because it's the first time I took a break. It's the first time I paused and just let my mind wander. Unfortunately, this also means that I'm losing sleep. And while a few minutes earlier I was tired, I'm now inspired and my mind is active.
To move away from this I've started to take mid-day naps. I'll lay on the hammock at the office or the couch at home. The purpose is not to fall asleep, but to replicate the pause in my day, to let my mind wander and solve problems, and to be completely internal for a just a moment. The instant I close my eyes to sleep, these thoughts and ideas appear. The main difference is that instead of forcing myself to sleep I can act on the ideas or thoughts. It gives me a new energy to continue the day.
This isn't new. People have talked about the benefits of meditation or naps for a long time. And while meditation or naps can help refresh and clear your mind, my intention is to activate it. I rarely actually take a nap, because the thoughts that start flowing wake me up and motivate me to write things down or solve the problem I've been struggling with.
When was the last time you just closed your eyes for a few minutes during the day? I recommend giving it a try.