I often hear that it is difficult to get new ideas, especially ideas that are actually worth anything. I disagree: it is only difficult if you’re not used to thinking creatively.
In order to generate worthy ideas, you have to force yourself into the habit of thinking outside of the box. Once you do, you won’t believe how many ideas you suddenly have. Easier said than done, right?
Not really! I will share some tips that are guaranteed to jump start your creativity. These tips apply to any profession, not just web design or entrepreneurship. And if it doesn’t work out… well, you didn’t pay anything for them, did you?
It is important to first understand one basic thing about the brain: it’s very efficient, but lazy. Yes, our brains are naturally lazy, because they don’t want to waste too much of our energy. Your goal is to get your brain out of that habit!
Start actively thinking and analyzing things around you
This is the most basic tip I can give you. When you’re out at a lunch or a dinner, look around you, think about the things you see, things you hear, and analyze them. Generate ridiculous ideas that aren’t even applicable to what you do. Let’s say you’re dining at an Italian restaurant. A completely ridiculous idea could be “teleported pizza.” No idea is bad, regardless of whether it is feasible. If you reject these ideas, you will never reach the point where you get the really good ones.
Get a notebook
Write down all your ideas in this newly purchased notebook, regardless of how small or how insignificant they might seem. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll remember the idea later. The writing process helps to solidify the idea and allows you to move on to the next one. It also creates a database of ideas which you can reference later. In the future, you might connect two previously separate ideas and turn them into something amazing.
Take up an unusual hobby
Find an intellectually challenging hobby that you wouldn’t normally be interested in. It could be, for example, poetry. Read poetry, study it, even attempt to write some. Or start playing chess: get books on chess, start thinking about it. These are all mental exercises. They will force your brain to get out of its comfort zone.
Discuss your ideas
Find a friend or a partner to discuss your ideas with. I can’t stress the importance of this point enough. By discussing your ideas, you’re getting valuable feedback. More importantly, it forces you to look critically at your own ideas and spot potential problems. Again, our brains are lazy: they won’t reveal all the issues until you force them to. Discussion is a good way to do that.
Don’t give up
It will take time and patience. The first month might not be any different than usual, but give it time and it will change. Personally, ever since I started doing these things, I’ve noticed a rise in my productivity and the amount of good ideas I’m able to generate. For example, I currently have 6 posts already prepared for this blog, and I just started blogging last week. I’m also currently working on a product for web developers which I’ll be blogging about in the near future. My notebook is filled with ideas that will never see the light of day, simply because I do not have enough time for all of them.
It really does not matter how stupid or what niche these so called ideas are in. It could be something as mundane as making a better sole for shoes that don’t hurt, it could be a new way to market something to someone or even something as mundane as making a new vacuum sealer machine! As long as you keep writing your ideas you keep churning those brain cells of yours.
If you have any tips that worked for you, please share them in the comments!