For everyone there comes a time when something new and unique should be produced, it can be music, writing, drawing, content or a business idea. Whatever the task is, it involves new idea, thinking, and creative process. Producing ideas can be a challenging task. I often find myself facing a new problem without a single thought what to do next. I’m going to list ways and techniques to get new ideas flowing.
1. Just start doing
The worst thing is to do nothing. Take a paper or a notebook and start sketching or making notes. Write what is on your mind. Don’t think about the quality, the main objective is to get text or whatever produced in large quantities. Idea is to get creative ideas as much as possible and sort all the potential materials from the pile of ideas. Although if the outcome wouldn’t be any good, it will get you started and your mind focused to the task. When you have enough material produced, stop for a moment and look what you have. Go through your work and put all things that may be usable or have the potential to be further approved. Save everything that you have done, they may become useful later.
2. Make a mind map
Humans are visual creatures. It’s easier to perceive things when they are illustrated in visual form. Mind maps are a good way to bring ideas and thinking in visual perspective. Mind maps view connections and structures as visual elements. Mind maps can be also used as a tool when presenting complicated ideas. You can create mind maps by drawing on paper or by using PowerPoint or online tools like Coggle.
3. Have a walk with your ideas
Walking is proofed to help to relaxing and thinking. Take some time off and head out. Remember to take note taking supplies with you. Things get processed while you walk and solutions and ideas may just pop in your mind when you least expect.
I like to have a walk in nature to get my head straight. I will just wander in a quiet place and back to work. Outdoor activity break also helps me to focus better on the work.
4. Collect information relative to the subject
Whatever is the subject that I’m supposed to work on, I try to get inside it by collecting knowledge as much as possible. To search relative information I use Google, Pinterest, Wolfram Alpha and Quora. Google is fairly useful as a general purpose tool. Pinterest is great in visual and abstract problems when you need to make a drawing, blueprint or a model of some sort. Wolfram Alpha is good in mathematical problems and numeric information. Quora is a social network built around questions. Quora is a great tool to get more inside knowledge.
Library is also a great source for material and has a calm atmosphere to work. Try to generate ideas and explore possibilities by finding relative information.
5. Have a Conversation
Don’t keep things to yourself, it’s the same as being on a lonely island. Share your ideas and let other people challenge your ideas and work. Don’t take the critic in a negative way, everything has a meaning and when someone gives you critic take it as an opportunity to get a new view and make changes.
I sometimes show my work to my wife or to my friend and ask for an opinion. It’s good to have a conversation with an open mind and make notes at the same time.
6. Stay positive and manage your time
Don’t despair. Keep positive view. Nothing good grows up from despair. Don’t push yourself too hard and give yourself time to work. Keep a schedule to organise time, so that you don’t leave anything to the last moment. Don’t do things in a hurry either, procrastinate.
7. Do things in small steps
I like to cut work in smaller pieces. Big problems are only small problems combined to one, thats why it may be sometimes easier to cut things into smaller parts and work with every individual aspect separately, instead of doing everything at once.
You can also divide your time into smaller parts if your work schedule has room for it. Good ideas are like wine, more you give time to your ideas to mature better they will become.
8. Copy and reuse good experiences
When you work and find something that works for you notice it and make it into a practice. People are individuals and have different ways to experience things. Something that works for someone, doesn’t work for another. That is why it’s important to experiment and try different things to find the right way to get ideas and make them work.
Originally posted 2016-05-07 12:00:21.