Are you stuck for ideas? It happens to the best of us.
The thing is, ideas come to us every day, more than we could ever make a reality. Unfortunately we dismiss most of them without even making an effort to recognize or pursue them. In our fast paced, complex and ever changing world, it is critical to constantly be on the lookout for new ideas that will drive innovation. To spark creativity and generate new ideas is a skill you can actively cultivate. Everyone can come up with radical new ideas you just have to learn how to think differently, open your mind and get your creative juices flowing.
The biggest challenge in generating new ideas is to free yourself from conventional, negative thoughts that can occupy your mind and block your idea generator.
Here are our TOP 10 TOOLS to open your mind, forge new connections and consider new perspectives to stimulate you to generate new ideas.
#1 Break Through Patterns
We all tend to create certain patterns that can be very helpful in our daily life, but once we settle into a routine, we start to function on autopilot and our brain shuts off. If you break a pattern, you shock your brain and it has to re-asses a situation and will heighten your senses. How can you break your patterns? It could be as simple as instead of working all through the night you get up early. You might find yourself a little fuzzy in the beginning, but that fuzziness and new sensation will allow you to re-focus and new ideas will pop up. Another way to break through patterns is to question your assumptions about the world. We may be set in our beliefs of the world, but if we question our assumptions, we are actively seeking new evidence and breaking out of our routine to see the world through fresh eyes.
#2 Connect the Unconnected
Most of the best ideas seem to come up by chance. You hear or see something that is totally unrelated to your situation and the penny finally drops. Capitalize on the knowledge that a random new element provides a stimulus for your brain to get going. Actively seek stimuli from unexpected places and figure out how you can make a connection to your situation that will spark new ideas to flow.
#3 Shift Perspective
Over the years, we get comfortable with a certain way of thinking and a certain type of perspective. If we don’t shift our perspective, we will be stuck on the same way of thinking, which can block new ideas from flowing. Ask different people in your network and beyond who see things differently and try to see it from their perspective. If you don’t have access to a variety of people, try figuring out how hugely successful people would go about your situation. ‘If I were Bill Gates…’
#4 Employ Enablers
Enablers assist with generating new ideas rather than directly provoke new ideas to jump out. Enablers are necessary to create a positive environment that can help you get your creative juices going. Examples of enablers are for example a strong believe in yourself, a change of environment, shutting down distractions and making time for a break like taking a nap, going for a walk or listening to music.
When your mind is crowded with everyday thoughts and concerns it is hard to generate great new ideas. You need to give your mind the time and space to get your creative juices flowing. Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and quiet down some of that constant mind chatter that will allow new ideas to start flowing. Commit to 10 minutes a day for 2 weeks and you’ll be amazed what happens. Once you feel comfortable with meditation, you can increase the time.
#6 Read More Books
Reading is vital in generating new ideas. Stay up to date in your field by skimming through a lot of books and then buy and read the ones that are important. You want to become a thought leader in your field and gather as much knowledge as you can. It is also very helpful to read books from other fields to get your creativity spark going. Make sure you take notes of the ideas you find. The more you find, the more you can combine ideas to create a breakthrough.
#7 Scratch Your Own Itch
Generate new ideas by paying attention to your own experiences and find out what you need or what’s missing in the world. It’s impossible to figure out what other people want, but you can imagine what you may want based on your own experiences.
#8 Seek New Experiences
The more new experiences you have the more you can create new connections that you can draw from. If we only do the same thing over and over again, we won’t discover new itches, but when you expose yourself to new experiences, you will light a spark that will get your creativity going. And remember, you don’t just want to jump on every initial spark, write them all down and then expand upon them later to see if the ideas are worth pursuing.
#9 Generate Ten Ideas Every Day
One of the simplest, yet most effective ways to generate great new ideas is to generate a lot of ideas. Creating this pool of ideas will result in some amazing ideas. Pick a different topic every day and generate ten ideas off the top of your head without judging or analyzing them. Don’t overthink it, just make a list of those ten ideas and come back to them later. We all have creative intuitions, sadly, mostly we ignore them. It’s just like strengthening your muscles in the gym. When you deliberately generate a flow of ideas every single day, you strengthen your idea-generating muscle.
#10 Become More Social
Meet and talk to new people outside your normal circles to expose yourself to new ways of thinking. Whether you meet new people online or offline, the input of different perspectives will enable you to reframe and restructure your own experience. If you tell your current situation to someone who doesn’t know you that well, yet, you find some great new ideas for solutions.
Promise yourself right now that you will give your ideas – no matter how out there they might appear to be – a chance. Decide that you will generate ten new ideas daily and commit to this for at least one week.
When you don’t not how to go about it, generating new ideas can be painful. We found developing a process and practicing to collect ideas and inspiration everywhere and anytime makes it easier. Give your mind the space and time to work for you. If you try our tools, you are sure to come up with a great idea or two. Make sure you write them down and come up with a plan to make them a reality.
START GENERATING NEW IDEAS TODAY!
Joschi & Monika