To generate great ideas, develop the 7 habits that follow. These are actions and thought patterns you can use to come up with many creative ideas and solutions. They’ll work right now if you try them, but if you want to be a truly effective creative problem solver, make such techniques into habits. How? Just use them daily for three weeks or more.
1. Start With Deep Breathing And Relaxation
Let the tension release from your neck and shoulders, and breathe deeply through your nose for a few minutes. Shoulder and neck tension may reduce blood flow to the brain. There is also a lot of evidence that creativity increases with relaxation.
2. Know You’ll Have Good Creative Ideas
Act as if you’ll have good ideas – a powerful way to stimulate your brain, and a great habit. As I write this article, I am assuming that I’ll come up with plausible examples to demonstrate these techniques. I am also convinced that this simple assumption keeps the ideas flowing.
3. Try Asking “What If”
Ask a lot of questions that start with “what if.” This is a powerful way to generate creative ideas. For example, the question “What if books were free?” might lead to a series of books that have paid advertising in them, and are given away (free newspapers are profitable in this way, so why not try it with books?). Just keep asking “what if” questions for a while, and let all sorts of ideas come to mind. You can sort the good from the bad later.
4. Challenge Assumptions
Every time you approach a problem, examine and challenge the assumptions being made by you and others. For example, suppose you are trying to design a new pet store, so you challenge the idea people have to come to the store to see the animals. This is a normal assumption, but upon challenging it, you realize you might bring the pets into people’s homes. That way the customer can see how they’ll fit in – it could be a great way to sell a pet.
5. Find Other Ways To Approach The Problem
Is there another way can you approach this? You should be in the habit of asking this question. Suppose a landlord has a problem evicting non-paying tenants. He keeps trying new legal strategies while the deadbeats stay forever. Then he asks what other approach might work, and he realizes he can pay them to go. He’ll still make more money because he then quickly gets new tenants who pay. make it a habit to find other approaches.
6. Use Other People’s Ideas
A quote from Albert Einstein: “The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” Why not see how others have solved a problem? Use other people’s creative ideas, and adapt them to your problem. One day, at the airport, I was trying to pick out a plain suitcase among a hundred similar ones on the luggage carousel. I saw a suitcase that had been painted bright colors by its owner. What a great idea! Now someone should borrow it and produce a line of bright, easy-to-spot suitcases.
7. Find Humor In The problem
The neighbor’s dog barks when you’re sleeping, despite the fact that you’ve complained repeatedly. When you look for the humor in this, you find yourself wanting to bark at your neighbor. This makes you laugh, but also gives you the idea to record his dogs barking and then play the recording very loud while HE is trying to sleep. Humor can sometimes lead to new creative ideas and solutions, but laughing is also just a great way to relax, which can help you think more clearly and creatively.
By John Benson