After just passing my ten years of working in digital I’ve found that being a creative is the utmost important thing to get right in your day to day life inside and outside of work.
We live in a world full of problems being thrown at us every second, and it’s how you capture these issues and start thinking creatively on how to solve them, that will determine your success.
I have tried many ways to come up with ideas when “Brainstorming” (thought showers for the politically correct) for solutions for these problems and here are a few of my favourites:
This is a simple and practical way of getting into the habit of writing down unique ideas each day.
Simply create a Google Form:
- Go to docs.google.com/forms.
- In the top left, click Blank.
- A new form will automatically open.
Create a form to suit your needs, mine was simple and had 2 fields Idea Name and Description. This way it keeps it easy and simple to just put an idea down.
The great thing about using Google Forms is all the data gets stored in a spreadsheet, which is handy as you can then plan in time each month to run through all of your ideas.
Now the goal of doing this is to write down 3 ideas a day, the trick here is to set aside time each day to think. I would recommend setting aside 9 minutes a day (3 minutes per idea, sorry odd number get over it!).
As you get into the habit of doing this daily, you will soon find you come up with more ideas and spend little time thinking. Before you know it, you’ll be full of ideas and won’t be able to stop writing them down!
The next challenge will be to get an idea written down in 60 seconds…
60 ideas a month and it only takes 3 minutes a day!
Another way you can expand on this is setting themes to your day, here are some examples:
- Improving Company Communication
- Being more Eco-friendly
- Eating healthier
- To save money
Again, this method helps us channel our thoughts and ideas.
Before we jump into this idea lets set one rule:
Try focus on using the term “Yes, and…” Where you build apron each other’s thoughts and ideas, without using the word “no.”
With this technique of idea taking it’s best to present a problem your looking to solve, like titling the brainstorm “How to Improving Business Communication”, or another example that we use this method for is to come up with creative content campaign ideas for our clients. So a short description about the client and their target audience will help direct the session.
Let’s get to it!
You need to find 5 people and a communal space away from desks and computers, ideal location “The Beanbag Room”. For those who are not so lucky to have one of these a formal setting like a meeting room will work just fine…
- Grab 5 people
- Grad 5 pieces of paper
- 60 seconds on the clock
- Write an idea down (in 60 seconds), fold the piece of paper and pass to the person next to you.
- Repeat step 3 & 4, 5 times
5 minutes later you will have 25 ideas!
If you have time to keep the 5 people you have recruited, a good way to continue the brainstorm is for each person to read out the ideas on the piece of paper they have in front of them, that way you can all build off each others idea. But remember the rule!
This is a fun way of gathering quick ideas for problem-solving and this method could be adapted to many different scenarios. Like a quick way to gain feedback on a website concept or ideas for your next culture day?
- Present a problem on a sticky-note in the middle of the wall
- Give a stack of sticky notes to each person (Or leave a pile near the wall)
- Get each person to write as many solutions to the problem. (one idea per sticky note)
This format can work in many formats like putting up a problem per day or even per week and allow the flexibility of people to come up with ideas over a longer period.
So, to conclude, here are 3 practical ways to help you think more creatively in your day to day life, in and outside of work.
I would love to hear more on how you gather/generate ideas, do you have a system or process that works best for you?