We all know what it’s like to go to sleep wondering what to say or do about a situation. Sometimes we awaken with a new inspiration. You can enhance the work your unconscious mind does while you snooze. You can generate more creative awakenings and flesh out those new ideas. And as you know, planning the way you phrase things is very important in a persuasive or consensus seeking conversation.

As a writer, trainer and consultant on consensus, persuasion and communication, I find that many of my professional decisions revolve around what to say and how to say it. On days when I can afford the time to loll in bed for a while after awakening (no early appointments), I am often surprised at how many breakthrough ideas occur to me. This works best when, rather than working at a decision, I simply relax and let my thoughts flow freely.

Just a few days ago, while listening to my spontaneous thoughts, I developed some good ideas for my next book. Moreover, it was during that slow awakening time that it occurred to me to write about that very process in this blog.

Of course, not everyone can afford to do this every morning. Many feel that it’s all they can do to get to work on time. Creative lolling is even more challenging for parents of minor children. Still, most people can find a way to practice free-flowing thought at least one day per week.

If you watched one less TV show in the evening, could you go to bed thirty minutes earlier and set your clock thirty minutes earlier? On weekends, do you really need to pop out of bed the minute your eyes open and hurry off to do errands? If you tend to nap in front of the television, how about turning it off, getting really comfortable, and taking a more deliberate nap from which you will wake to the peace and quiet that help you hear your 1st thoughts?

A couple might agree that, if one of them is contemplating particular decision, the other will take complete charge of the children the next morning so that the problem solver can lie in for a while. The problem solver agrees to return the favor another day. If they can’t do this first thing in the morning, they might try a weekend afternoon, one of them taking the children out, leaving the other free to nap and then practice free-flowing thought afterword.

Even if you can’t manage much lolling time, there are other ways to boost your unconscious mind’s ability to work while you sleep. Simply focusing on the decision in question just before you nod off can help. It’s best to do this in a calm and relaxed state, rather than fretfully, so take a few mindfully deep breaths before you begin to focus on the issue.

And even if you must get up as soon as the alarm rings, try to minimize sensory distractions for a while. For example, don’t turn on a radio, television or phone while brushing your teeth, doing your hair, and dressing. On the way to work, try listening to some soft, slow-paced music, rather than news or talk radio.

Most importantly, even if you do nothing to boost the process, pay attention to whatever thoughts you have upon waking. They just might provide the inspiration you need to have a successful day.