We have all been in the situation when you need new ideas for something. Nothing comes to mind straight away so you end up delaying the task, choosing instead to do something a bit more ‘in the box’ – something that doesn’t require quite so much imagination. Soon enough the task becomes low priority – but creative thinking should never be low priority. It is these outward thinking ideas that have been the source for some of the best inventions and business strategies over the years and could be you and your company’s next big cash cow.
To stop this from happening, we have come up with 5 things you can do to ensure your creative juices are flowing and you can delve into your brain for inspiration for that next big thing:
Take a walk outside
Get out of your office and experience the great outdoors! Firstly, a change of environment from the usual 4 walls can help stimulate your brain to look at a situation or problem in a completely different way. Secondly, the increased blood flow to your head due to the exercise is another good way of increasing your brain’s productivity. Finally, a walk away from the office and away from the stresses that come with it can help you relax so that when you return – your mind is more focused. So whether that Eureka moment comes in the middle of your stroll, or an hour after it, a casual walk can help increase your creativity substantially.
Whilst multi-tasking may feel like a fantastic thing at times, it plays havoc with your creativity. Multi-tasking completely fragments your concentration so that your brain cannot really reach its full potential on any one task. So set some time aside and dedicate it entirely on trying to come up with new ideas. Divert your calls and close your email to ensure you aren’t distracted at all in the middle of the time and allow your brain to focus its powers entirely on that one task!
Find out your learning style
Some people may find it easier to keep their entire thought process in their head; others may like to bounce ideas off of other people or even inanimate objects by verbally expressing themselves and others like to draw mind maps and write down what is going on inside their head. Find out through the various tests available such as the Kolb or Honey and Mumford tests which one it is that will help you the most – don’t just do what other people you know do as their head likely works in a completely different way to yours! It is all about getting the best out of yourself.
Listen to music
Did you know that listening or playing music is one of the very few activities that use both sides of the brain? Music clearly has a powerful effect on us with certain songs being able to elicit feelings and memories from way into our past. Listening to music whilst you work can effectively block out background noise – both literally and figuratively, helping you to focus yourself better as well as engage your senses better. This will all help you think of something you wouldn’t normally think of whilst listening only to the usual sounds of an office.
Paint the town blue – not red
Studies have shown the colour blue helps create twice as much output than the colour red on creative tasks such as brainstorming. Where the colour red is more effective at increasing attention to detail, blue can help you and your brain have that masterstroke that will make the world of difference for you. So get yourself some blue ink pens and cover your office with pictures of the ocean to help your brain as much as you can!