I've often heard that the thought most at the top of your mind is the one that shows up when you're in the shower. Or on your commute to work. Or while exercising alone. Or even sometimes when sitting on an airplane.
While it's clear that moments when you are beside yourself are the moments that allow the brain to air out, I've found that conclusions drawn from those thoughts are mostly inward looking and personal.
Current events? The cutting edge of whatever is breaking in your industry? Developing a well crafted response to the op-ed in yesterday's New York Times? Putting our stakes in these areas involves similar time, but it's much more difficult to turn nubs of ideas into fully blown out opinions and arguments. This kind of thinking, and more importantly, drawing some kind of conclusion, involves a proactive and patient manipulation of words. It's hard to say I can get this from the tea tree oil in my shampoo.
In an attempt to try and match all the time I spend consuming information, I'm going to attempt to dedicate more time towards producing conclusions (it's very obvious that in college, or any kind of schooling, class assignments and papers often provide insurance against this kind of passive thinking).
Where do you find your time to conclude?