For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, argument, debate. – Margaret Heffernan
We’ve all heard the term brainstorming, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. Getting started is the hardest part. Today, I’ll share some great ways to brainstorm.
Brainstorming can be done in groups or individually. Traditionally, brainstorming includes generating ideas quickly and uncritically. There will be time for discussion and debate once the brainstorming session is completed. Let’s get stared:
1. Create Lists
Keep a pad and pen handy. One of the best ways of brainstorming is creating lists of ideas. Simply start with an idea or category and start listing anything that comes to mind. If you need a topic for a speech, you might start with “Famous People.” Start listing all the famous people you can think of. Sooner or later, something will click.
2. Anything Goes
Remember, when you brainstorm, anything goes. No idea is silly or stupid. When we brainstorm, we shouldn’t limit ourselves. Try to add items to your list as quickly and uncritically as possible. Later, you’ll spend some time reviewing your list. That’s when you’ll decide what to throw out and what to keep.
3. Make A Mind Map
Rather than listing ideas, you could try connecting them. You start with a single word or idea and branch out from there. You can include categories and pictures. This style of brainstorming is a right-brain style of thinking. Check out mindmapping.com for ideas.
4. Practice Wordplay
I love the art of songwriting. I used to do a lot of cowriting with a friend. To get started, we’d do a little wordplay. For instance, I’d say, “blue,” and he’d say, “sky.” I’d say “bird,” and he’d say “worm.” After awhile, something would click, and before we knew it we were writing a great song. Check out some of my iPad music at SoundCloud.
5. Take A Walk
Walking stimulates the brain. I walk regularly. New topics often come to mind while I’m on my daily walk. Most exercise helps to stimulate ideas, but walking has the added bonus of observation. As you walk, you can observe your surroundings. Your observations can prompt creative ideas.
6. Sleep On It
Don’t push yourself too hard. If the ideas aren’t coming, take a break, take a nap, or go to bed. Sleep renews the mind. You can start with a fresh outlook the next day. Interestingly, creative ideas often come when you’re tired, on the edge of sleep. So keep a notepad by your bed for those times.
Play This Game
If you make a point to practice brainstorming regularly, it becomes a habit. The more you brainstorm, the more creative you get. It’s a snowball effect. So start brainstorming today.
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