I’m an idea guy. No on has ever accused me of not having an original thought. Most of the time the opposite is more accurate. The teams I lead usually fight overload with the number of ideas I produce. I have to discipline myself to “unthink” and give teams permission to tell me “bad idea”.
But, even idea people have lulls in their creative process. We grow stagnant. Get bored. Need help spurring thought.
So, how do idea people get new and original ideas?
Here are 5 ways that work for me:
Get up and walk – If it is cold I walk inside, but outside is my preference. Several times throughout the day I take a hike. My best ideas rarely happen sitting at my desk.
Whiteboard – Diagraming or drawing my thoughts makes me think. I have one wall in my office covered with idea paint. If thoughts get stale…I play with dry erase markers. Literally. Start writing or drawing and it leads to more ideas. Every time. (I also have several doodling apps on my iPad.)
Exercise – Whenever I’m in a lull, exercise triggers my brain. And, it’s good for my health. Sometimes a mid afternoon sweat will make the last half of the day my most productive in thought.
Hang out with creatives - Iron sharpens iron. Creatives sharpen me. I like to occasionally hang out with random thinking, highly creative types. I’m random, nut structured, so I have to pace my time with the over-the-top creatives, but they always trigger new ideas.
Different environments – Going somewhere I’ve never been always fuels me. A new city. A new park. A new restaurant. A new coffee shop. A different library. Change the space…expand the pace (of thought).
Those are a few that help me.
What triggers your creative process?