I often solve complicated problems by thinking about the problem for maybe 15 minutes, then taking a break for one or two hours, and then think for another 15 minutes. This often leads to much better solutions than working on the problem for 2 or 3 hours straight.

This is particularly evident for problems that have both an analytical and a creative part. It somehow seems that the solution matures or ripes unconsciously during the break.

Two questions to this:

  • First of all, is this hypothesis that the solution somehow "ripes" unconsciously true/plausible? Or is it rather caused by the refreshed brain after the break?
  • Second, does this phenomenon have a name under which more literature could be found?