Creative ideas have often altered the course of history in very significant ways. Steve Jobs had a simple idea to look at the mobile phone differently, and it changed the world and made him rich. While the value of great ideas is undisputed, many people struggle to come up with them regularly.
So here are 10 habits to help you become an idea factory.
10 Habits to Help You Generate Creative Ideas
1.) Expose Yourself to Quality Content
Ideas are stimulated not by first being creative but by consuming good content, which will then spark creativity. When you read good content, it inspires you. It gets your creative juices running, helping you get into the idea-generating mode.
Subscribe to top-notch blogs in your areas of interest, read good books, or listen to a great podcast without any distraction. The more you take in and meditate on, the more creative your ideas will be.
2.) Verbalize Your Ideas
Share the creative ideas you come up with. Tell them to another person who forces you to clarify your thoughts. This will solidify your ideas and help identify areas that need improvement.
3.) Note Down Ideas When They Hit You
Flashes of inspiration often occur in fleeting moments. You always need to record them at that time so that you don’t forget them. Carry a notebook, a recorder, or use your mobile phone to take note of them. You will then be able to re-visit them later and refine them.
4.) Identify Things That Stimulate Your Creative Juices
Different situations, places, or circumstances impact our ability to come up with good ideas.
Are you a morning person? Wake up early to get into that creative head space. Does working at night inspire your creativity? Schedule times in the night when you sit and work on your ideas. Whether it’s a specific time or a place, work it into your daily schedule to give you that creative boost you need to come up with innovative thoughts.
5.) Keep Your Desk Tidy
A messy work space can affect your flow of thought, affecting your ability to come up with creative ideas.
If your desk is messy and you suddenly get a good idea, you end up scrambling to find something to put it down on. The distraction takes attention away from your flash of inspiration – and you miss out on some nuance of brilliance.
Try to keep your office desk organized regularly. It’s good if you have a clean desk policy. Ensure you leave your desk clean before you exit the office. You will come back to a clean space in the morning that will positively boost your productivity.
6.) Change Your Surroundings Regularly
Different environments can inspire creativity, and that influences how well you come up with good ideas. Move to different places every once in a while, for a change of pace.
If you are a writer and you frequently come up with ideas by your desk, go for a walk. Let the outdoors inspire you. When an idea strikes, just take out your mobile phone (or pen and paper) and record it.
7.) Brainstorm with Others
Discuss your creative ideas with other people regularly to get a fresh take on them. The different approaches they will bring will add a layer of value to it. LinkedIn is a good way to find like-minded people you can discuss mutual interests with. You can also meet with someone over coffee to chat over your ideas.
8.) Seek Out Opposing Views
Consider differing opinions on your interests to challenge your default thought pattern. You’ll learn how to assess your ideas and improve them significantly.
9.) Schedule Some Alone Time
Focusing on something for a long period of time can lead to diminished creative capacity. Plan regular breaks when you can step away from the idea for a while and spend time alone. These moments of solitude can inspire flashes of creativity that improves the quality of ideas you might come up with.
10.) Consider New Angles to Existing Ideas
Some of the best innovations did not come from new ideas, but rather, from looking at pre-existing ideas in a different way that adds value to them. The iPhone came into existence when Steve Jobs decided to re-think mobile phones and product design.
Your next great idea might not lie in seeking out the novel, but in improving that which already exists.
Ready to generate better, more creative ideas?
It’s possible to come up with great ideas regularly – but it takes effort and consistency in changing your habits for the better. Learn to recognize what inspires you. Hone your skills and you’ll soon become an idea-generating machine.