Seven Tips to Boost Your Creativity.

Brain

As a group of creatives, we’re constantly being asked, “How the heck do you come up with those crazy ideas?” The majority of people believe our creative is induced by bong hits and booze. As fun as that may sound, it’s not really the case. For each client, we develop a strategy and value proposition, which helps define who we’re talking to and what we need to communicate to them. Once we have that, we get to work on the actual creative, the fun, clever ideas that will attract the eyes, ears and minds of our audience. How do we do that? The simple truth is, it takes a lot of work and energy. Here are seven tips we often use to get the creative juices flowing:

1. Break Your Routine – Getting out of a routine will help stimulate your brain. Take a different route to work and treat your eyes to some new sights. Take a different route for one week straight. Get your news from a website your ordinarily wouldn’t go to. Instead of going straight to your computer, pick up a pen and paper.  Trade the coffee for tea. Anything to mix it up a bit helps to jar a few ideas loose.

2. Think Visually – Next time you need a big idea or have to solve a problem, grab a pad of paper and do some sketching. Can’t draw? It doesn’t matter. By drawing a solution to our problem, you’re forcing yourself to think differently, which could very well lead to solving a problem in a way you never expected. Doodles are also a great way to find a simpler solution to complex problems.

3. Humanize Your Product or Service – If your product or service were a person, what would they look like? Would it be male or female? Big and strong? Speak with an accent? Be an athlete or scholar? By working on ideas in this manner, you’re helping to give your idea a voice and personality. Once that voice starts to rattle around inside your head, you never know what it’ll lead to.

4. Set a Time Limit – One trap people often fall into when working on a creative project is to allow too much time to think about ideas. Too much time thinking can lead you to spend more time editing your ideas and telling yourself why they won’t work. Next time you need some creative ideas, try this, write down as many ideas as you can in 30-minutes. You want to write down as many as possible without giving them a lot of thought. After the half-hour window closes, you’ll be surprised by how many ideas you’ve jotted down. Then you can start editing out the thoughts that won’t work.

5. Ask Yourself, “What If?” – Instead of thinking about what can you do, think about what if you could. “What can” creates barriers. “What if” opens up possibilities. “What can” tends to make you think small. “What if” makes you think big. It’s a simple term that can really lead to some breakthrough creative.

6. Write Your Ideas Down – How many times have you thought of a great idea when you’re out and about, and completely forgot about it the next morning? It happens all the time. So write down those ideas and save them for a rainy day. Carry a little journal or make notes on your phone. Build an “idea log” that will serve as fuel for the next idea generating session. A bank of ideas is a great jumping off point and can trigger your brain to open up new thought channels.

7. Think The Opposite – Let’s say you need to think of an idea to sell more bathing suits. Rather than focusing on pools and beaches, think about Eskimos and igloos. By taking your mind somewhere else, you’re more likely to come at the solution from another angle. More imporatnly, by thinking opposite, you’re more than likely going to come up with a solution that is far different than your competitiors.

There you have it. No go think big.

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~ by hookusa on July 16, 2009.

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