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It is important to balance collaboration with solitude

On many occasions, I surprized Watson by demonstrating that I need not even leave our home to solve a case:1

Thanks to the telephone and the help of the Yard, I can usually get my essentials without leaving this room [RETI].
But do you mean to say that without leaving your room you can unravel some knot which other men can make nothing of, although they have seen every detail for themselves? [STUD].
He, and others, were often very derisive of my fondness for home.2
Watson found him, as he expected, lounging about his sitting-room in his dressing-gown [ENGR].
I was never a very sociable fellow, Watson, always rather fond of moping in my rooms and working out my own little methods of thought, so that I never mixed with the men of my year [GLOR].
It is evidently the theory of some armchair lounger who evolves all these neat little paradoxes in the seclusion of his own study [STUD].
The capacity for solitude is as important as the capacity for collaboration. It is impossible to be creative if one can not spend time alone. Many people lack capacity for creativity simply because they can not be alone (they probably bore other people too). With Watson spending so much time at his club, the best place for me to be alone is at home. Even more important than saving space in your brain, as described above, is to save time. Time is the ultimate non-renewable resource. There is no point in wasting time going to an office, when all the equipment I need - my mind and my files - is right here at home. It is only when I need specific information about a particular crime that I need leave home to visit the scene and use my powers of observation. Deduction can best be done at home.



1   Holmes was an early electronic cottager. Like the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, he worked out of his home. 221 B Baker Street was both his home and his office. There was little division between his private and his professional lives. Being self-motivated, a lover of solitude, and engaged in the processing of information, he was an ideal candidate for the electronic cottage.

2   One is tempted to make a pun on his name. However, it would be hard to top the groaner of E. W. Hornung, the brother-in-law of his literary agent, Arthur Conan Doyle, who invented another detective character Raffles but assured Doyle that "Though he may be more humble, there's no police like Holmes."