When we read books, listen to podcasts, watch movies, and have conversations with other people, we absorb ideas. We consume. We collect.
But do we give our minds enough time to process everything we learn?
If you're always doing something and your mind is engaged all the time, then you're probably not giving it a chance to connect the dots, make unexpected associations, and come up with new insights.
As much as you devote time for completing projects and going through your daily to-do list, you should also make time for doing nothing.
Stare out the window. Let your mind wander. Or you can walk in your neighborhood without thinking of anything specific. Let your thoughts jump from one subject to another.
You might end up with the solution you've been trying to figure out for weeks. Take note of all the ideas you come up with right away—they could disappear in less than a second (and they don't always come back).
I've caught myself a couple of times when I'm staring into space. I tried to track where a thought came from. How I ended up thinking about one thing when I was thinking of something else unrelated two minutes ago.
Sometimes, the thoughts are so aligned; other times, they have the thinnest thread connecting them. It could be a word, an emotion, a memory, a moment. It's amazing. And it always surprises me.
Your mind is powerful. Let it do magic on its own, without your conscious interference.