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Unlock creativity and innovation with your unconscious mind

Your success as an entrepreneur relies heavily on your ability to be creative and innovative, but to also have the energy to focus intently for hours on end.

And to do this repeatedly without burning out.

It sounds exhausting, but often you’ll find yourself enthralled with your tasks as your passion and desire to see your project through keeps you going.

Yet constantly working is not a great recipe for success in the long run.

It’s usually in the space that relaxation provides, where your true creativity can shine through.

One intriguing theory that has gained attention in recent years is the Unconscious Thought Theory (UTT), and it might be able to help you, or at least shed light on what you have already suspected based on personal experience!

Developed by psychologists Ap Dijksterhuis and Loran Nordgren, UTT posits that the unconscious mind can effectively process complex information, aiding decision-making and problem-solving.

Let’s explore what UTT is, how it can benefit you as an entrepreneur, and offer some actionable habits that you can integrate into your daily life.

What is Unconscious Thought Theory?

Unconscious Thought Theory proposes that the unconscious mind, when given time to process information without conscious interference, can arrive at better decisions.

Unlike conscious deliberation, which may be constrained by limited cognitive resources, the unconscious mind excels at handling intricate data, making it a valuable tool for creative problem-solving.

How UTT Benefits Entrepreneurs

Enhanced Creativity
Entrepreneurs often find themselves at the intersection of various challenges that demand creative solutions.

UTT suggests that stepping back and allowing the unconscious mind to process information can lead to innovative ideas and novel approaches.

This can be particularly beneficial when faced with complex business dilemmas or the need to generate fresh concepts for products and services.

Improved Focus
The constant barrage of tasks and decisions can overwhelm entrepreneurs leading to decision fatigue and diminished focus.

UTT offers a remedy by advocating for breaks between periods of conscious thought, allowing the unconscious mind to sift through information.

This rejuvenating pause can enhance your concentration and boost your overall productivity.

Optimized Decision-Making
Decision-making is a cornerstone of entrepreneurship, and UTT provides a framework for making better choices.

By trusting the unconscious mind to process information subconsciously, you can arrive at decisions that align more closely with your long-term goals. This is also helpful in situations where quick, intuitive decisions are required.

Practice it today

Take mindful breaks
Incorporate intentional breaks into your work routine. Step away from your desk, take a walk, or engage in a short mindfulness exercise. During these breaks, consciously detach from the immediate task at hand, allowing your unconscious mind to process information in the background.

Sleep on it
When faced with a challenging decision or problem, resist the urge to make an immediate choice. Instead, sleep on it. The unconscious mind is highly active during sleep, and this period of rest can contribute to clearer insights and solutions.

Seek diverse input
Actively seek out diverse sources of information and experiences. Exposure to a variety of perspectives and ideas provides rich fodder for the unconscious mind to draw upon when processing complex information. Attend workshops, read widely, and engage in activities outside your usual routine.

Maintain a journal to capture your thoughts and reflections. This practice not only promotes self-awareness but also allows the unconscious mind to communicate more freely. Reviewing your journal entries over time may reveal patterns and insights that can inform your decision-making.

Unconscious Thought Theory can help you enhance your creativity, focus, and productivity. By tapping into the power of your unconscious mind, you can better navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship with greater efficiency and innovation.

Checking in

How can you integrate more periods of relaxation today, in order to allow your unconscious mind to take over a problem?


Dijksterhuis, A., Bos, M. W., Nordgren, L. F., & van Baaren, R. B. (2006). On making the right choice: The deliberation-without-attention effect. Science, 311(5763), 1005-1007.

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