Our family ends each summer by kayaking 9-miles along a river in northern New England. It's a great way to recharge, reconnect, and reflect - away from the day-to-day. Times like this are when some of my best ideas occur. Why is that? The brain has two modes. The first is focused mode - when we are actively thinking about something, or perhaps struggling to solve a challenging problem. The second is diffuse or default mode network - like when we're out for a walk, a long run, or even kayaking, and our thoughts start drifting. When the default mode network is operating, your mind can make bigger-picture connections between disparate ideas to come up with breakthroughs. The next time you are tackling a problem and get stuck, you may want to try taking a break and letting your brain's default mode network help you out. You might just be surprised.
Originally published on LinkedIn.