This week we’re happy to introduce Guest blogger, Damian Wolf. How to get ideas is a crucial part of the creative process in business and in writing. Damian has some good advice to get those synapses snapping. Welcome Damian! – GH
4 tips you can use right now to get ideas
Ideas, ideas, ideas! Anything you do or think of doing needs to have a plausible reason, a good plan and most importantly – an amazing idea behind it! The problem occurs at the point where we are so drained that we just seem not to be able to put a decent set of thoughts together. This is the moment when we all should read through these help tips and learn how to land on our feet, ideas-wise.
When you start working on a project, know that time alone is crucial for generating quality ideas. Usually, you’ll hear advice such as:
‘rely on the team for the ideas, together you’re creating better structures’.
This is true to a point, but we shouldn’t forget that we’re first individuals, and only after that members of groups and teams. So, it is only logical that you’ll need some time alone to think of things that will lead to great concepts.
You can always write your thoughts and ideas down and then later work on advancing them individually or within a group. The key to having great ideas coming your way is pretty much letting yourself enjoy the creative process. Find what’s making you happy, what best works for your train of thought, what stimulates you and just let yourself experience it. Once you have a peace of mind and appropriate surroundings, ideas will come your way.
An important tip: Whichever thought you have, don’t box it in. Let me be more specific – don’t generate ideas in clichés or ways your boss or superior would like them to appear. Listen to yourself, follow the concept of the project you are working on and trust your gut. Once you’ve got a few ideas lined up, it is easy to pick up the best ones. Also, thinking outside the box may lead to some unusual concepts.
What you should also start doing is encourage debating of your ideas, and embrace brainstorming. Once you are sure that what you’ve thought of is something you find presentable (to both your boss and the team), don’t shy away from encouraging debating on the subject. Yes, you will most certainly feel hurt once somebody rejects your idea during those debates, but look at it this way: in careful observing of the team’s comments, you’ll soon understand what is best. Also, your idea can serve as a base idea for some even greater installments. Often, one idea triggers another and a few minutes of brainstorming with your whole team can lead to some brilliant results!
For instance, at my company Cubic Promote we have a special way of doing business with our clients. We first sit them down, talk to them and see what the direction they would like their campaign to take. Once we’ve learned all their desired preferences, we as a team get individual tasks, where each member of the team is given an hour (sometimes couple of days, depending on the size and importance of the project) to come with the best solution for the campaign.
After everybody is done, we sit together and brainstorm. Each meeting ends in success as we are all open to embracing each other’s perspectives. Keeping the mood light (even within a competitive atmosphere) is crucial. Laughter, support, understanding and respect are features each member of the team must embrace.
How to get Ideas
So, here are my top 4 tips to spark the creative process:
1. Trust yourself
Trust that you can do things. Believe you are capable of amazing results. Know that your creativity will lead you to great things. Positive reinforcement is always what helps us perform better.
2. Take breaks and rest
Being persistent, hard-working and devoted are wonderful qualities in an employee. But, in order to re-generate you need to take a breather from time to time. Go for a walk, listen to music, nap, go for drinks with friends, take a break from formal idea-generating. Feed your mind and soul with some rest time and the ideas will come.
3. Change the setting
Changing the environment from time to time can be beneficial for your thought process. Instead of sitting at your desk, go on the balcony, sit at the local coffee shop, take a walk… Let yourself experience variety.
4. Shut out distractions
Shut off the phone, log off from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… close the door, divert your phone calls and let yourself think.
What’s your favourite way of sparking creativity? Please leave a comment below
Damian Wolf is a writer and small business co-owner from Brisbane. He loves to write about life, business and home. When he’s not too occupied with work, Damian like traveling with family or barbecue with friends.