There is a magical space of time that occurs between sleep and consciousness that I call the "Idea Factory". For me, this time usually happens in the morning when there is no particular rush to jump out of bed to get moving. This is when my thoughts are clear and ideas flow easily; it's like magic! Some of my best ideas about business or otherwise have come to me during this time.
I don't know what it is about this time but it seems to be the perfect incubator for clarity of thought. The "factory" only operates for a few minutes but in that tiny space of time, the doors open and I get my best ideas. Thoughts come to the surface and ideas are presented to me like factory parts on a conveyor belt. Questions are answered and everything is put into perspective.
It has taken me years to be aware of this phenomenon but I've come to realize that everyone at least occasionally has their own idea factory. If you are not already aware of your idea factory, perhaps you will now recognize it and make it produce your best ideas. It's a priceless gift that I think many of us have but few recognize and fewer are able to capture the final product.
One unfortunate thing about the idea factory is that it only operates for a few minutes it seems. The clarity of mind and thought that occurs is as if there is no time but once the doors close, the ideas fade away quickly. The key to making the idea factory work for you is to always be prepared with a note pad or electronic device by your bedside at all times. As soon as the factory doors close and you are awake, write down your thoughts quickly! Any delay at all will cause your once clear mind to dim and the thoughts just float away.
Never let a good thought or idea go to waste by not writing it down. You tell yourself that this one is so big, you couldn't possibly lose it but inevitably it leaves as fast as it came and could be lost forever. It's like having a hard drive failure without a backup -- devastating!
Once you write down these thoughts while they are super clear it's like moving them from useless dreams to productive consciousness. You suddenly become fully aware of the amazing application of ideas in your life or business. Once they are written, they can be built upon later.
If there is any secret to share about where to find great ideas, this is the big one. So, the next time you are laying in bed on a Sunday morning or on a lazy vacation, think, listen and write about everything that's made in your "Idea Factory".