I rarely work on 1 thing at a time.
I like to work on 3 unrelated projects at once (usually an article, a landing page, and an email), switching my focus every 2 hours or so.
When I work this way, I find that each project nourishes the others. And if I hit my stride, I can go into a creative/connective frenzy. I become full of ideas, lightning in a bottle.
Because when I switch my focus, even though I’ve stopped consciously thinking about Project A, my subconscious continues to process any new information I took in while I was working on Project A.
Your brain will do this, too.
It’s an automatic process called incubation.
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Incubation is when your brain subconsciously makes new connections.
And then these connections randomly bubble up to your conscious mind.
Some people call their best connections “lightbulb moments.”
Of course, there are many ways to spur incubation.
You don’t need to be switching between projects.
You can be concentrating on your breathing during a run. Or scrubbing your feet in the shower. Or unloading the dishwasher in the kitchen. And then, suddenly, your subconscious will make a connection that feeds your conscious mind an idea.
DON DRAPER: “Peggy, just think about it, deeply. Then forget it. And an idea will jump up in your face.” - MAD MEN, "Indian Summer"
There’s no wrong way to incubate.
But if you incubate by switching between projects, you’ll get more done throughout the day.