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In A Creative Drought? 3 Ways To Get Your Ideas Flowing

Diving and swimming

This technique requires 2 steps:

  • Deep immersion into a subject matter without specifically looking for an answer to your problem.
  • Letting go completely while you process that information (actually walking away from it), to allow good ideas to bubble up from the subconscious and into clear view.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

In A Creative Drought? 3 Ways To Get Your Ideas Flowing

In A Creative Drought? 3 Ways To Get Your Ideas Flowing

https://blog.trello.com/get-ideas-flowing

blog.trello.com

4

Key Ideas

Creativity and problem solving

Creativity is about problem-solving. And creativity is also about finding problems to solve in the first place: perceiving them, defining them, explaining them, and recording them.

Diving and swimming

This technique requires 2 steps:

  • Deep immersion into a subject matter without specifically looking for an answer to your problem.
  • Letting go completely while you process that information (actually walking away from it), to allow good ideas to bubble up from the subconscious and into clear view.

Exaptation

This is the ability to reach beyond a specific field of expertise and create new uses for an older thing. It’s about taking one thing and using it for a different purpose than intended.

For example: Apply a cooking recipe to a marketing strategy or use a spreadsheet program to organize words for your poetry.

Fill the well

This well is the place you take all your ideas (no matter how abstract they are) and get them stored as actual information, so they can be used. 

Get your ideas into a recorded state. Doing this over time means your idea well becomes both parts of your brain and a physical extension of it. Use a notepad, Pinterest or any place you find suitable.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The 2 goals of effective brainstorming:
The 2 goals of effective brainstorming:
  • Defer judgment (don’t get upset when people say bad ideas).
  • Reach for quantity (come up with as many ideas as possible).
Obstacles to an effective brainstorming:
  • Fear of judgment from people in positions of power;
  • Extroverts take center stage;
  • Groups hate scary ideas, even it they're great ones;
Steps of the creative process
  1. Preparation: individual study to focus your mind on the problem;
  2. Incubation: the problem enters your unconscious mind and nothing appears to be happening externally;
  3. Intimation: you get a “feeling” that a solution is on the way;
  4. Illumination: your creative idea moves to conscious awareness;
  5. Verification: your idea is consciously verified, expanded upon, and then executed.
Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve ...

Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

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Reward yourself

Make sure to treat yourself to something you really enjoy, after you finish working on your tasks.

Giving yourself something to look forward to will motivate you to start working. And most ti...

Break down tasks

Big tasks tend to overwhelm and demotivate us. As a result, we often don’t bother getting starting on something we want to do.

So instead of having a number of large tasks to do or one big task, just set one small task for now. This will make your work seem more manageable.

A mental warm up

It can be difficult to go from waking up in the morning to getting yourself working right away. So give yourself a mental warm up exercise beforehand.

For example, try reading an interesting book that gets your brain going, write down your ideas or do some crossword/Sudoku puzzles.

Combinatory Play

We’ve all experienced that flash of insight, that fleeting moment when a solution we’ve been grinding away at reveals itself in an unexpected place.

Einstein, for example, was known...

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
“Creativity is just connecting things.”
How The Brain Works

The brain’s building blocks are neurons: nerve cells that receive and transmit signals along neural pathways. Certain pathways are forged at birth. Others can be manipulated by learning. 

So when you’re stuck in a rut, your brain’s neurons could literally be stuck on a neural pathway you’ve carved out through your behavior. But you can get unstuck by choosing to make new connections.

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"Creativity echo chamber"

When information keeps coming from the same place, teams may find themselves in a creativity echo chamber. 

Instead of generating fresh lines of thinking, people keep bouncing ...

Push the boundaries of debate

Constructive conflict can produce creative solutions. When teams engage in rigorous debate, they are often forced to examine underlying assumptions, challenge the status quo and evaluate competing views. 

The process of perspective-taking can yield new insights that jumpstart creativity and workflow.

Make it safe to disagree

Teams that operate with psychological safety consistently deliver creative breakthroughs and report high levels of interpersonal trust.

Psychological safety is that sense of confidence that their team will not embarrass, reject or punish them for speaking up

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Our brains have two ways of operating
Our brains have two ways of operating
  • Focused: when you're very focused on solving the problem in front of you. But this also clamps down on unconventional and creative solutions
  • Distracte...
Generating good ideas on command

Make sure you’re prepared at any time.

  • Find out when you’re relaxed, happy and distracted (because that's when creative thoughts are more likely to appear) and make a mental note of when that’s likely to happen.
  • Find a way to record the ideas that are sure to come.
We're not born creative

Some of us are better at making new connections between concepts. But this is in most cases the result of hard, deliberate work, not an accident of birth.

Walking and creativity
  • Walking helps you to get away from your daily sources of stress, thus reducing anxiety in the short term.
  • Walking improves the process of creating new analogies in your brain.
Keep your hands busy

Doing something intricate with your hands – a Rubik’s Cube, squeezing a ball, fiddling with dice – excites various parts of your brain and might actively change the way you are thinking.

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Take a Nap

Dreaming is a source of inspiration because your brain is working even when you’re asleep.

If you can’t seem to break through your brainstorming session, take a nap.

Drink

People who are concentrating too hard will sometimes block the creative processes necessary for problem-solving.

A drink or two might just help calm your brain.

Listen to Music

Music can put you into a “mind-wandering” state that’s perfectly conducive to coming up with new and creative ideas.

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4 Stages of Creative Control
  • Preparation: you’re learning everything you can about the problem.
  • Incubation: you’re allowing your unconscious mind to work on the problem.
  • Illumination: ...
Creative work categories
  • Prioritize: The clearer your priorities, the more focused you can be on the task at hand. 
  • Generate: Build a creative habit. Make a daily deliverable, whether it’s 100-words a day, a 30-second song etc...
  • Explore: When you Explore, you collect the raw materials for the insights you’ll have when you Generate.
  • Research: To solve a creative problem, you have to learn whatever you can about that problem.
  • Recharge: When you rest, you allow your unconscious mind to work on your creative problems.
  • Polish: A great idea won’t work if you don’t execute it well.
  • Administrate: make it all work, so you can keep doing what you’re doing.
Becoming a perpetual creativity machine
  1. Build a tiny creative habit: Find the time of day with the best creative energy and make your daily deliverable so small, you can’t stand to fail.
  2. Take time to Prioritize: Once you’ve established a habit, dedicate an hour a week to a “weekly review”.
  3. Rest with a purpose: Establish times during your day and your week when you’ll do something that Recharges you.
Keep your innovation muscles strong
Keep your innovation muscles strong
  • Start Conducting Stand-Up Meetings. Convert one of your meetings to a standing one and watch the momentum, enthusiasm, and action soar.
  • Surround Yourself With Inspiratio...
Bring it to Life

Stop talking and start building! Put your thoughts into words, your words into pictures, and your pictures into prototypes.

Even a bad drawing is better than no drawing.

More tips on practising innovation
  • Ban Things. Having constraints and parameters actually inspire innovation by forcing you to think dynamically and creatively.
  • Get Out of the Office, even if it’s just to walk around the block.  Your mind will start connecting dots between what you see and the problems you left back at the office.
  • Fuel Up on Creativity. Pick something creative to kick-start the morning. It will inspire your attitude and creativity throughout the day.
  • Ask Yourself “What Would My Hero Do?”.  When you’re stumped with a problem you can’t make any headway on, ask yourself what they might do to solve it.