I'm no longer "surprised" by the surprise of a good idea.
Since my brother and I have had a wallet (from about 10 years old or so!), we both have carried an "extra" piece of paper - wherever we go. Over the past 28 years, here is something I've learned: A useful idea just may show up anywhere. Capturing the idea now, and nurturing that idea later just may be the most balanced work/life expression we can experience.
So, you can believe my delight at dinner the other evening when our meal-time chat turned toward inspiration and motivation in the learning processes of corporate cultures (wow, that's a mouthful!). Two of our clients, at the dinner table, started writing ideas down for an upcoming presentation we are planning in September. Over the course of two hours we discussed timing, content, presentation styles, handouts and follow-up materials. My preference is NOT to leave any of those details to memory; I write them down, I can act on them.
People ask me if it's ever appropriate - according to self-management/time-management theory - to ever just "do nothing." In principle, I don't believe anyone actually wants to do NOthing; yet in theory I understand what they are getting at.
I think the ultimate in work/life balance will be achieved when you're ready for surprise, so it doesn't surprise you. Go out, sometime today, with the intention to do "nothing." Then, make it ok when - in the space between the notes - you start attracting ideas that just might make the world a better place!
(Is it obvious I've been watching TED.com and POPTech.org lately???!!!)