Put it more formally, how to let your mind subconsciously work on a research problem when you are not actively thinking about it, e.g., during sleep, dinner, walking, or shower?
Often I hear stories where a person gets stuck on a problem for months, only waking up and finding the problem works itself out in the shower. There are many great researchers echoing this ability , such as "creativity comes out of your subconscious" by Richard Hamming . Also, many professors I know seem to master such skill, including my advisor. Having seen some occasional discussions like here at SE, I am wondering if this ability is innate or can be learned. If the latter, what are the techniques to help cultivate this ability?