10 Best Ways to Brainstorm New Ideas
Ideas spin the world, but coming up with great ones isn’t always easy. Here are ten ways to encourage your brain to bring these ideas to life.
10. Really boring
“The best way to come up with new ideas is to get really bored ,” says prolific writer Neil Gaiman. Your brain wants to fill the void, or at least entertain itself with new ideas.
9. Isolate yourself
In a similar vein, Isaac Asimov invites you to spend more time alone with your thoughts , because the presence of others can overwhelm your creativity. Spend time only with your thoughts – not distracted by other people or technology – and your ideas will be free. This is not to say that group brainstorming sessions do not have their merits – they just need to be done correctly, and there is also time for individual brainstorming sessions.
8. Combine two ideas to create one good idea.
Creativity is about making connections. If you find it difficult to come up with one fantastic idea, try combining two average or good ideas. It’s like the ” idea of sex “: ideas give birth to ideas.
7. Drink beer.
Coffee keeps you on your toes, but science says it’s not the best drink for enhancing creativity. Beer (or other alcoholic beverages) makes you focus less on the things around you, which, like number nine above, isolating yourself, can lead to big ideas . Of course, everything is in moderation.
6. Make a mind map
Mind maps encourage you to make connections between different concepts, encouraging the creation of new ideas. By charting your thoughts , you can expand on the topic and identify ideas that you might have missed using plain text notes.
5. Sleep on it or try to fall asleep
Have you ever tried to fall asleep and suddenly your brain starts thinking about new ideas? It is common for your subconscious mind to start taking over because you are finally relaxing and not distracted by anything else. Before bed is a good time to make a brain dump . You may also have more ideas if you interrupt your sleep cycle : wake up for 60 minutes during a 90 minute cycle when your brain is weaker and less likely to censor the ideas you leak.
4. Take a shower.
Great ideas are born in the weirdest places – in the shower, for example. This environment puts us in a semi-meditative state in which our mind can wander freely. There is no guarantee that you will get new ideas after your shower, but if you feel stuck you can also go wash up and see what happens. If you are unable to shower, similar activities that release a lot of dopamine in your brain, such as listening to music, can also help generate your ideas .
3. Take a walk
” A walk brings order to the world around us .” The researchers found that when people were walking, they could generate about 60% more creative ideas (in the studies, participants found more uses for the object), and this effect persisted even after participants sat down after walking. So go for a walk and break out of your current cycle to get some inspiration .
2. Stop censoring yourself
We are the censors of our worst ideas. We may have too many ideas that we never implement (and then feel guilty), or we are too quick to call some ideas stupid. Think twice before giving up on a creative idea that may not suit you, and perhaps try keeping a “ new ideas document ” that encourages you to write down every idea — without guilt or criticism.
1. Save Your Ideas Anywhere, Anywhere
This brings us to the most important thing: ideas are useless if you have them, but you forget about them. There is always a place to capture a new idea, be it an app on your phone, a simple pocket notebook , a diary by your bedside table, or waterproof AquaNotes for your shower. And then re-read your old notes to spark new ideas .
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