Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyWant to Be a Better Thinker? Take a Shower!

Want to Be a Better Thinker? Take a Shower!

This is the last month of On Pasture’s regular publication schedule, and probably one of the most exhausting series of articles I’ve written.

If you were to watch me working, it probably wouldn’t look like much. There I am, sitting at my desk typing, looking up things on google, reading articles and condensing them into a few, simple, understandable sentences. My brain is sweating, though you can’t see it.

Sometimes I get stuck, and then you’ll see me headed to the shower, where I do some of my best thinking.


Why does taking a shower work? A recent article from National Geographic explains it this way:

“Rather than constantly grinding away at a problem or desperately seeking a flash of inspiration, research from the last 15 years suggests that people may be more likely to have creative breakthroughs or epiphanies when they’re doing a habitual task that doesn’t require much thought—an activity in which you’re basically on autopilot. This lets your mind wander or engage in spontaneous cognition or “stream of consciousness” thinking, which experts believe helps retrieve unusual memories and generate new ideas.”

It doesn’t have to be a shower. Sometimes it’s just a short walk around the house or the yard. Basically, it’s a thinking technique that I’ve perfected over the last nine years of writing articles for you on a very tight deadline. Anytime I’m stuck, instead of pushing harder, I get up and take a short break. I do something routine that lets my brain wander wherever it wants. When I sit back down, well, there’s the answer waiting for me!

Thinking well is really important to our success, but it’s not something we’re usually taught how to do. That’s why I came up with “The Thinking Grazier.” I wanted to share tools and techniques that enhance our creative thinking and problem solving. I hope you’ve found it helpful.

Exhaustion from thinking is one part of my fatigue. The other is simple stress. What I’ve written about this month is some of the most important information I’ve published. It’s a way for graziers to make a huge difference in slowing climate change, for us to ensure a planet where our children and grand children can survive and thrive. I feel like that’s a lot of weight for each and every word I’ve typed because I want to get it just right. I want you to read the articles and say, “I can do that!”

So, go spread some compost. And while you’re out there, let your brain wander a bit. I bet you’ll come up with some really great ideas!

Thanks for reading!


P.S. Here are the August articles that show you how to make a difference to your business and the planet:

A Farming Tragedy

For More Forage, Improved Soil and a Better Future Just Spread Compost

Forage Quality is Declining and Grasshoppers and Livestock Aren’t Happy

The Future is in Your (Big) Hands

Ecosystems Are Becoming Less Efficient at Absorbing CO2

Some Good News About Slowing Climate Change

How to Think Through and Solve Problems


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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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