Fred Wilson shares profound advice from his father about problem solving and subconscious information processing:
“He explained that I should start working on a project as soon as it was assigned. An hour or so would do fine, he told me. He told me to come back to the project every day for at least a little bit and make progress on it slowly over time. I asked him why that was better than cramming at the very end (as I was doing during the conversation).
He explained that once your brain starts working on a problem, it doesn’t stop. If you get your mind wrapped around a problem with a fair bit of time left to solve it, the brain will solve the problem subconsciously over time and one day you’ll sit down to do some more work on it and the answer will be right in front of you.”
I know this works for me when I actually do it. We’re in the process of moving right now, and I’m amazed how my mind is working on different ways to arrange our stuff and charting our moving day plans as I’m doing things like making dinner or sleeping.