In math and engineering, there’s a thing called a *forcing function*, which is often used to describe the inputs to a system. When you take away the input, you get what’s called a *transient state*, before eventually, a *steady state*.

Imagine for a moment that you close your eyes, put in your ear plugs, and enter your sensory deprivation chamber (why do you have a sensory deprivation chamber?) What you’ve done, in mathematical terms, is taken away your forcing function; you’ve taken away your inputs. And the question is, what happens then? What’s your transient state? What’s your steady state?

I find this to be a fascinating question, not so much because of any particular answer, but because of the implications of *every* answer.

The very fact your thoughts change when you take away your inputs, implies that your inputs change your thoughts. Or thinking of the inputs as a forcing function to a differential equation, the environment *forces* your thoughts; it *drives* them. Your senses keep you moving in concert with the outside world.

Take away the stimulus from your senses though, and your thoughts enter a transient state; a state that depends only on your own *inner* world.

If you stayed in this state forever, you’d end up in a steady state, which… you probably don’t want. But if you re-apply the forcing function again at a later time, there’s — mathematically speaking — a chance that you’ll end up responding to the inputs in a different way than you did before.

If you want proof for all of this, you can go study up on differential equations.

But if that sounds like a lot of work to you, the thing is, all I’m really trying to say is, if you take a break, you’ll sometimes solve a problem faster than if you just keep at it for hours on end. And there just so happens to be math that proves it!