100 Tips for Improving Your Creativity: Top ideas from 15 different brainstormers

Authored by Dr. Darin Eich, Ph.D., President of BrainReactions LLC

A BrainReactions.net brainstorm launched by UKJohn (John Tunney) on “100 Tips For Improving Your Creativity” achieved its stated goal. It generated 100 ideas from 26 different brainstormers. The description of this brainstorm was: “I thought it would be interesting to ask BR Tool users for their creativity tips. Any input is welcome – be it favourite techniques, authors, websites, attitudes you think are essential for creative thinking, etc.”

The following are some of the most popular ideas from 15 different brainstormers tagged with the username of the creative global idea generator from BrainReactions.net. Note that the wording of the ideas, including any typos, have been kept intact below in an effort to maintain the originality of the idea as presented by the author:

Go beyond the word that describes the solution to purpose of the solution, e.g. instead of saying “I need a job,” say, “I need an income.” That frees you from confining boundaries. Ask yourself, “What’s the true purpose of this solution? Is there an alternative way to get that?”

Ask every question you can think of related to the task at hand, problem or opportunity. This “drilling-down” will ALWAYS produce high-quality possibilities and answers – and crystallize your idea, problem or opportunity so you can produce very clear responses.

Try using outrageous similes to spark your imagination. Think up some, or read some fiction – either good or bad – to see what kinds of “word pictures” authors have crafted. Two I wrote last night: “ditched them like an empty pack of Marlboros” and “parted out like so many broken down Chevy Citations”. Play off the imagery that is inspired and try making some “like a” phrases of your own.

Mindmap your concepts…it is amazing to see all of the little ideas that relate together to make a big idea. This helps to integrate your ideas and helps you develop more robust concepts in the future

Don’t try to innovate in a vacuum. Look around at similar problems in different fields, and see what elements apply. Often, parts of a solution can be found.

Read biographies of high achievers in any field and emulate their thought-process.

Keep a record of ideas, problems and thought experiments. Refer to the record regularly and sometimes memorise the items so that you can think about them at any time at any place.

have a time limit, say by 10th of this month i should generate 10 ideas. this competitive thinking will enable you to be focussed and will help generate more ideas.

Leverage the 4 fundamentals of Innovation: FUNDAMENTAL 1 – Innovation happens at the intersection of domains and fields, FUNDAMENTAL 2 – Breakthrough ideas come from playing with ideas and forming new connections, FUNDAMENTAL 3 – Incubation is a powerful and important part of any innovation process, FUNDAMENTAL 4 – Brainstorming is a skill to be practiced and perfected

Switch to unlined paper for all of your meetings, brainstorming sessions, and notebook idea entries. It will subconsciously – and consciously – free you to think differently and more expansively. Also, it facilitates more visual drawing of ideas – not just linear verbal descriptions – which is particularly useful for novel, emergent ideas that are still in the process of forming. Once people experience unlined, they don’t go back :-)

Go to a nice and new environment where you feel happy and excited, and synergize with interesting people there;this gets the creative cells sparkling. Feeling good and sharing your thoughts open many windows of opportunities. The impossible becomes possible.

Go Random. Where ever you are think of at least seven things… anything, no rules. Write those things down without judging or sensoring. You may use visual, auditory, musical or personal reference, For example, the next thing someone says or the next thing you hear on the radio, song or talk show subject. List those seven things and relate them to you end result. How, Why is it related to your issue. Why? This process opens fresh new pathways to success.

Consider the opposite: Turn the problem upside down; imagine trying to achieve the opposite; reverse the relationships

Backwards script-writing: imagine the result of your idea. how will it look? how it will influence on your market? then, go backwards and look for more ideas to make it happen.

Build a rough prototype. It will help focus your goal and serve as a platform for generating more ideas in creating and extending.

Visit the online brainstorm at http://brainreactions.net/brainstorms/1753 to review the ideas, select good ones, and sort to view the most popular. You can also still add your own tips for improving your creativity.

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