Idea flow is the name I give to the visceral sense that ideas are moving through your life at speed - you can think of it as a rate, a number of ideas per day, that create a sense of intellectual exploration and growth.
The greatest speeds have been achieved with dramatic amounts of reading. The experiment from Sophomore summer where I read 4 books a week is the prime example. My mind was chock full and flying each and every day.
Idea flow always exists, the question is how much is there and how does it feel. As a hyperanalytic addict, I find that it’s invigorating and look to maximize it (constrained optimization). I also have searched for ways to capture as much of the flow as possible and install it into habitual thought.
A few methods that consistently generate flow:
Write. Free Writing, Essays, Book Writing, etc.
Find the best online communities that I can and comment/post about topics that I care about in the space.
- Idea Lists. Time limited brainstorming, forcing myself to get to a high count.
- Read. 4 books a week was the time of greatest idea flow for me. Doing that as a lifestyle was extremely time consuming and even more rewarding.
- Social - Meeting regularly with my smartest friends.
- Professors. They give the best worldview critiques and are great for looking up solutions and generating ideas.
- Taking the best books and compress them into runable algorithms. Experiment based off of them and run them regularly.
- Set out all of the best ideas in a field or space. Search exhaustively. And then compress the space into the strongest and most general ideas, and train thinking with that frame.