Browse the web (or this blog) and you’ll find hundreds of idea generating posts. From complex techniques through to short and simple tips.
The problem is, and always has been, applying these techniques consistently.
So many people nod sagely and make notes every time they read a new post about idea generation, and then (with all good intentions) fail to follow any technique for more than a couple of days.
It’s human nature. We’re busy, we’re lazy. We forget. We get distracted. Our brains are hardwired for repetition, so we fall back into our old patterns.
So what is the answer? How do you keep the ideas flowing? Well, I’d be wasting your time if I just added another list of techniques, so here are four simple things I do to stay creative, which take no skills at all.
Read. Anything and everything. Read outside your interests. Creativity is input. Soak it up, baby.
Sleep. Get lots of it. If you have a project you’re thinking through, sleep on it.
Walk. Walk away from the desk. Walk in the sunshine. It helps you stay fit, and it helps your mind wander. Believe it or not, it takes discipline to leave your desk!
Turn the radio off in the car. I can’t recommend this from a driver safety perspective, but I can from a thinking perspective. Whenever I drive alone, I have a strict rule. I listen to the radio on one leg of the journey, but turn it off on the other. This forces me to think.
Ok, so it is another list. These tricks take no skill, but they will help you focus on your thinking. A certain level of creativity is inherent in everyone, but for those of us who are expected to perform creatively every day, skills must be improved, and discipline is vital.
Think about it.