Creativity. How can we help fire up our creativity to come up with an idea or solve a problem? Here are some tips…
- Start simple – Try to strip down the problem you are trying to solve to its basics. Use objects or draw shapes to analyze the elements. Look at the problem from both ends and even the middle. Are you stuck at the start? What do you want the end result to be? Try determining what result you are after then work backward.
- Research – The more you know about your subject the more you can spot that small detail or point of difference that will make your idea great
- Find your productive space – We all have that place we can go, away from distractions, where we can focus on the problem at hand. That place might be on a mountain top, or it may be in the shower. Maybe that place is in your mind through meditation. Try different places in your life to see what works best and go there.
- Find your productive time – We all have a few hours a day when our brains are at peak production. Try and schedule your brainstorming around that time when you shine.
- Don’t force it – Ideas don’t have to happen between 9 and 5. Give yourself some lead time to let the problem gel. Or, you may be someone who thrives under pressure. In that case, wait until 4:45 to begin.
- Play music – Music helps get your brain working. Create a playlist of what works best for you.
- Have a strategy – Write down what goals you want to achieve. Write down what message is to be conveyed. They go get buy off from all the decision-makers on that strategy, goals, and message. That way if your idea aligns with all those agreed-to points, they can’t say your idea is wrong. They may think it’s weird, but it will be on strategy.
- Laugh – Watch something funny on YouTube. Laughter makes us loosen up and relax, paving the way for creativity.
- Absorb culture – Don’t plug into the same ruts every day. Try something new. Take in a form of entertainment that’s new. Eat a culture’s food you’ve never tried. Take a class or join a club doing that thing you always thought about trying.
- Sleep on it – Write the problem on a piece of paper and put it on your nightstand. Let the subject drift in and out of your head as you fall asleep. You may wake up with a solution.
- Overdo it then edit – Don’t worry about editing. When you hit your creative stride write down everything then start to edit it down to the simplest way of describing your solution.
- Give the smartphone a break – Google does help with ideas, but then turn it off. Take a walk away from the other distractions on your device.
- Engage new people and perspectives – Break out of your social norm where you talk to the same people every day. Engage a stranger and ask their opinions. You could find an angle you weren’t expecting.
- Avoid creative blocking elements – Phones, car alarms, negative people, committees, and other people or things that could shut you down early in your creative process.
- Mix solo, partner, and team efforts – We’ve seen companies that only have group brainstorm sessions. Those sessions always have dominators, dominate-followers, and wallflowers. Good ideas can come from those sessions but don’t discount mixing things up – letting people come up with ideas by themselves or in a pair. In a pair, you can bounce ideas off one other person and that will strengthen those ideas. Try all three types of idea generation and never use only one
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