And in the current market, generating ideas is one of the most important things we can be doing to help us overcome current challenges and future ones.
However, things that can often stimulate creative thinking – such as human interaction, a change to the daily routine, or a change in scenery – are not feasible right now.
So alternative solutions many be needed:
Embrace the boredom
I’ve heard a lot of people say to me “yeah I’m fine thanks, just a bit bored”.
The pace of life has changed for many and intensified for others, like NHS workers for example – it’s something we all have to adapt to in our own way.
However, if you do feel bored, then embrace it. Many of us have complained about being rushed off our feet in the past and having no time to think.
I have talked before about soft thinking, so in times of boredom take the opportunity to let your mind wander and wait for those ideas to emerge naturally from its depths.
Try something new
Read a type of book you’ve never read before. Listen to an album or genre of music you’ve never listened to before. Go for a run. Listen to a podcast.
Say hello to that neighbour you’ve never spoken to – from a socially acceptable distance of course.
Any one of these might get your creative juices flowing, or at worst generate a new experience.
Maintain human contact
We’re lucky that we have the technology to stay connected through the internet and telephones.
Make regular contact with friends and family and reach out to people you might not have spoken to in a while.
Ask for help
Tell others your personal and business challenges and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
From a business perspective, people outside our industry see things differently and can be a source of wonderful ideas to help you along the way.
Embrace the change
People talk about some of the positives from the crisis – such as reduced pollution. Focus on the good things which have emerged as a result of this period.
A positive mindset is a powerful weapon.
Doodling is a way of our unconscious mind telling us something. All you need is paper and pen. Hold onto a particular thought and let your mind go blank. Then just doodle.
Or doodle when listening to someone.
I often do this when on teams calls; it’s not because I’m not paying attention, it just helps concentrate my mind.
When doodling, don’t over think it. When finished, put your doodle to one side and return to it another time. When you return, you may be surprised by what you have done.
It will often make no sense and that doesn’t matter, but there are times when it might.
Mind the maps
Einstein is said to have thought in a stream of pictures and, being visual creatures, we all do this to a certain extent. Mind maps are therefore perfect to help solve challenges.
Mind maps work by writing your starting point, your initial thought, the challenge, or idea in the centre of a blank page.
Let your mind wander and simply write down any thoughts associated with this. This will then form branches and you can action, build on or discard your thoughts as you see fit.
We all need solutions, and solutions come from creative thinking. These are the concepts that are currently working for me.
Take some time and have some fun in finding out what works best for you.