Sometimes the best ideas don't come from pushing but from sitting still. Blank spaces are as productive for creation as study and insight through focused diligence. It is those times we stand upon the work of the past just to let the brain do its work in the background. While we may feel that hard work and pushing oneself to the limits leads to the creation of new ideas it is those quite times that capitalize on our prior work.
We cannot deny that red eye efforts that lead to new scientific breakthroughs but it is often the subconscious solitude that brings forward the new and unique. The best ideas come through when we least expect them. They are the times when nothingness becomes your best friend.
Eureka is the moment a new creation and connection comes together! It is the time when things make sense and something profound comes through. The inventors most productive time is when they are lying on a bed, having a cup of coffee, or just rubbing the crust out of their eyes.
New connections among different ideas means creating more neural connections. This doesn't occur well if you are forced into a line of thinking. Creative and novel thinking generates more ideas that can be analyzed later.
Free your mind by spending some quiet time walking a beach, engaging in yoga or just sitting and thinking without anything that needs to be done. Work hard and learn but also create blank spaces where you can integrate this knowledge. Use push and pull to create the most inventive environments.