Do you love brainstorming? I really do.
There is something so satisfying about coming up with a list of ideas. They each represent possible solutions or options or whatever it is you are working on. To me that act of giving yourself possibilities is a source of creative empowerment.
I have tons of notebooks with different lists. They sort of get blurred, but that’s alright. The important thing is that I do it and keep the lists for when I need to use them.
Maybe you don’t feel like you are so great at brainstorming. I completely understand! I didn’t always feel so creative. But all the more reason to start working on it. Everyday if you can.
Just make a question and start writing down your options. Do it every day, and you will become great at it. You will probably impress yourself with just how many ideas you can generate.
No fair judging
That’s right. Turn off the critic for this.
In creative brainstorming we don’t make distinctions about how great an idea is. We don’t even worry if some ideas are just reframes of others. In fact, being able to restate an idea is a great ability to have, and it shows you are thinking of nuances too.
Keep it open and loose
With practice and taming the critic,you can open your mind to new ideas and perspectives for how to solve your problem. As you grow in this ability, you will get even more ideas.
By keeping it loose, I mean, don’t worry if an idea is slightly off track from the original question. It’s cool to have some divergence, something that leads to new questions in other areas. There is no benefit to rigid thinking in brainstorming.
Have some fun
Let yourself come up with some playful, fun, crazy, even outrageous ideas along the way.
Challenge yourself to do so when you are brainstorming.
You don’t need to edit out the wacky and goofy. Let them flow out, because they serve a purpose too. They give your mind a little fear challenge. Even thinking about what you might be afraid to do and writing them down is a step towards facing fear. It helps condition you for bigger risks. And who knows maybe the craziest ideas turn out to be the best.
Keep your notebook with you
You never know when inspiration will hit you.
In fact it’s pretty standard to get an idea as soon as we step away from our work and let our mind wander. So keep a notebook or use your phone to keep track of them when they come to you. And keep some paper near your bed. They can come in the night too!
Do it alone
Brainstorming isn’t a group activity.
Companies like to put people together and force it to be a group activity, but research has shown we do better at brainstorming alone. We get more and better ideas. Afterwards it’s fine to get together and discuss them, but for idea generating.. it’s best solo.
In summary, I just want to say that I hope you are convinced that you need to start a daily practice of generating ideas. When you have many, then it’s so easy to start acting on the good ones and you will amazed what you accomplish. It will grow and stretch your creativity, and that is the best part!