Keep a Regular Journal - Deepstash

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7 Ways to Generate Great Ideas

Keep a Regular Journal

A journal is a great way to structure and develop ideas.

Add the practice of finishing every entry with: My new idea for the day ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

How Ideas are Made

Generating ideas is the process of finding new connections between old ideas.

We have to be able to connect the dots, cross-pollinate ideas from various disciplines, and combine and recombine them to create new ideas. 

Seth Godin
Seth Godin

"Someone asked me where I get all my good ideas, explaining that it takes him a month or two to come up with one and I seem to have more than that. I asked him how many bad ideas he has every month. He paused and said, 'None.'"

A Safe Environment

Create a safe place, free from criticism, because we tend to clam up if we feel like we're going to be criticized.

Rather than criticizing what you don't like, focus on getting ideas out in the open so you can build on them.

Writing your thoughts for better thinking
Writing your thoughts for better thinking
  1. You can hold more ideas than you could in your limited working memory. 
  2. Writing allows editing. Editing mentally quickly becomes exhausting, as the old information interferes with the new.
  3. Writing allows for longer thoughts. Ideas bubble up and pop all the time in our minds and with writing that we can capture them.
Improve your thinking with writing:
  • Have a written meeting, before your face-to-face one: You’ll be able to communicate them intelligently when the meeting comes.
  • Many problems that feel overwhelming are suddenly simplified once you write them down.
  •  Simply the act of writing down an explanation will resolve the confusion.
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
  • Distracted: when you’re unfocused and your mind wanders, because you’re relaxed. This engages the autopilot area of your brain. The rest of your mind is free to wander, making connections and encouraging creative thoughts to form.
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.