Are you really out of ideas?

by Kate on October 3, 2012

Stuck for ideas? Try a walk and change of scenery

Being stuck in a rut doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t solve a problem. You might just need to get out of the rut.

Here’s a quote from The Economist A-Z of Business quotations, which neatly expresses ideas of places to look for opportunity.

We usually find gas in new places with old ideas. Sometimes, also, we find gas in an old place with a new idea, but we seldom find much gas in an old place with an old idea. Several times in the past we have thought that we were running out of gas, whereas actually we were only running out of ideas. (Parke Dickey, geologist (1909–95), quoted in Encyclopaedia of Petroleum Science and Engineering)

Here are some things that can help increase creativity:

  • Go for a walk. Simple, enjoyable and good exercise.
  • Choose a quotation and consider what ideas it gives you. Write them down.
  • Go to a different place to think. Sometimes even changing sides of your desk can help.
  • Sleep on the problem. Before you go to sleep, write a note of what you want to be able to ‘do’ in the morning. It’s amazing how often this works.
  • Listen to different music than you are used to, or drive a different route home. It helps take your brain out of autopilot.
  • Read magazines on topics you’re not familiar with.
  • Learn to Mind Map and use this technique to brainstorm ideas.
  • Set a timer and give yourself 3 minutes to come up with a specific number of solutions to a problem. For example, to increase sales: 12 marketing ideas, 5 ways to get more results from networking.
Where are you stuck? What will you do to get un-stuck?

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