Creative thinking has always been incredibly important. And don’t confuse “creative” with “artistic”; most great scientists owed at least part of their brilliance to being able to think in new ways. When Isaac Newton defined gravity for the first time, or when Einstein developed the theory of relativity, for instance, they were certainly flexing their creative muscles. When software developers think of new special features for the fantastic casino games at All Jackpots Casino, or when a traffic engineer is working out how to stop bottlenecks of cars building up, they’re doing the same thing.
A lot of the magic of conjuring up new ideas comes from keeping an open mind and jumpstarting a brain that might have unintentionally become a little sluggish. Resting and having fun to recharge are also essential habits. After all, the innovations that you’re chasing will emerge best if you’re relaxed and willing to see things differently. Importantly, you need to cultivate the habit of creative thinking; rather than waiting for inspiration to strike, work at seeking it out in a disciplined way.
Below are some practical tips on generating and harnessing the very best notions that your noggin has to offer in 2020.
When we say “consider consumption” we mean consider what you are feeding your mind and soul. Are you stimulating your thinking processes with intellectual books, shows, movies and other media? Extending our food metaphor here, you are what you eat. Make sure you’re consuming quality content, not junk.
Consume, Regurgitate, Repeat
Discuss with others whatever you observe, process or take in. Consuming is only the first half of the idea generation process. The seeds that are planted will germinate into fully formed concepts the more you discuss them. Human beings are designed to share information; it’s one of the basic principles of scientific thought. The same principles apply in all areas of life.
How does what we’re learning relate to any ideas we want to generate? Everything eventually connects if you keep zooming out; it just depends how macro you need to think.
Capture Ideas as They Come
Train yourself to stop and acknowledge inspiration when you see it, and carry a notebook with you to make sure that you get it all down for later processing.
Break Out of Old Thinking Patterns
Get yourself out of well-worn thinking ruts by challenging your assumptions, rephrasing the problem and thinking in reverse. If you want to travel and research a work opportunity, you might tell yourself you simply can’t afford to.
Don’t leave it at that; challenge the thought! Is there anything you can do to make the money? Could you sell something you don’t even use? You can also reframe the problem; instead of asking how much money an employee should get as a bonus, find out if they want the cash or would be more motivated if you rewarded them with an exotic holiday.
Speak Your Ideas
Once again, discussing your ideas can help lead you to major breakthroughs. As they come to you, be sure to get them out into the open.
Ask More Questions
Asking more questions allows you to look deeper, and really understand what is going on so that you can come up with more effective and innovative solutions. Just make sure you actually listen to the answers you get!
Study All Perspectives
If you look at opposing takes on the same issue, you’ll have a more comprehensive understanding of it. This also helps any ideas that you generate to work in the long term, rather than failing because of unforeseen challenges.
Focus on Ideas That Solve Problems
As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Look at what people need, and think about how those requirements could be met and those problems could be solved. Even if your idea is completely novel, you’re building on what has come before rather that striking out in the middle of nowhere.
Vary When and Where You Think
Remember, getting the creative idea juices going is all about getting your brain thinking in a new way and direction. Changing your environment, or even the time of day that you spend pondering a problem, can make all the difference.
George de Mestral famously invented VelcroTM when he took his dog for a walk and noticed burrs getting stuck in its fur. Inspiration really can hit you anywhere and anytime – hopefully he had a notebook handy to jot it down!