Psychologists have identified the cycle that people go through when they have good ideas. Understanding this cycle could help you have more and better ideas… Eureka!

Preparation
The first stage is preparation. Here the idea is to study and investigate all the information you can, from a variety of sources.
 
Incubation
Many psychologists believe there’s a subconscious mind that works on any problem we’re trying to solve. The incubation stage is that time when we don’t actively think about the problem but instead allow the subconscious to take over. To take advantage of the incubation stage you must let the idea go or sleep on it and let your brain do its thing.
 
Illumination
Has an idea or solution suddenly flashed into your mind long after you’ve stopped thinking about the problem? Illumination is that sudden flash of insight, the bulb that suddenly lights up in your mind. Illumination can happen anywhere and anytime whether you’re sitting in a movie theater or mowing the lawn.
 
Verification
At this step, the idea is tested, proven or carried out. Verification occurs when you begin to flesh out the details of an idea. Not all ideas will be feasible in reality, so at this stage they’re seriously considered and possibly tested.

1. E. M. Forster, English Novelist


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