7 Ways to Find Inspiration
Guest post from my LearningAge co-director, Tess Robinson…
- Have the right attitude
Open your mind to all kinds of weird and wonderful possibilities. Don’t discount anything at first. Creativity is impossible to achieve if you are not brave enough to look beyond your normal paradigms.
- Give yourself time
Don’t expect creative thoughts to jump into your head in the first five minutes. It may be hours, days or even weeks before you have that Eureka moment. Some people thrive on pressure and that added time constraint can produce wonderful, creative solutions but, if that’s not you, don’t worry.
- Be random
Introduce chance elements. The classic method, of course, is by the roll of a dice. This can help to introduce new thoughts and ideas to a creative process. They may seem wild and wacky at first but, once refined; solutions may appear that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of.
Basically, make it up as you go along. Often used in theatre and music, this method can introduce spontaneity and fluidity and can help that creative flow.
- Find a ‘Fresh Eye’
Write down your problem simply, clearly and in a non-technical way. Show it to people who have no direct experience of the problem and invite their ideas and opinions. Sometimes we are too immersed in an issue to be able to see clearly. This method can inject some creativity to our thought processes.
This may seem like cheating but how many ideas are truly original? It is totally valid to imitate others as a first step to original thinking. As Isaac Newton said ‘If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants’.
- Interrupt yourself
This is Rob’s all-time favourite way to be creative. Our office is next to a golf course and when he’s storyboarding or needs to think of a creative way around a problem, he likes to go for a walk around the course. The principle is that, the more you are used to doing something in a particular environment, the less stimulating it is for your brain. When you disrupt your thought patterns or take yourself out of your regular environment, you are forced to make new connections in order to comprehend the situation. Programming interruptions into your day like going for a walk, trying something different, listening to a new piece of music or changing your routines can get you thinking in different ways and help you to generate new, creative ideas. It also gives you a great excuse for your boss if you just want to get out of the office for 20 minutes.