I like to believe that we are all born creative. Our creativity may vary in style, but never in quality. And while you might have lost touch with your idea-generating department, you can always reach it again.
Here are 10 tips on how to start producing ideas on a daily basis.
1. Start an idea notebook.
Always carry a notebook and write down everything. An idea is like bait, once you get a glimpse of one, you use it to catch bigger and better ideas. Write down everything that you think might be a starting point.
2. Hold intense brainstorming sessions.
Here is when you go fishing. Let your mind wonder and go from one idea to the other. Brainstorming sessions will get your mind into creative mode.
3. Write 10 new ideas every night.
Think of this as a plan for tomorrow. Write down ideas before you go to sleep and wake up the next day with the basis for your work. It will give you direction and can prevent a creative block. I do this every night. It’s easy to come up with the first six, and the last four take a little extra brain power. Try it.
4. Draw ideas.
Let your hand scribble on the paper and your mind will wonder. Try expressing your ideas into drawings and sketches. And remember, you don’t have to be an actual artist to get the most of the benefits picture has to offer. It’s fun. I like to draw out websites I build.
5. Seek experiences.
Lead an experience-driven life. Experiencing new things will widen your perspective and will give you a bigger “inspiration pool.” People with full lives are better at being open, creative and producing new ideas.
6. Turn off your electronics.
Get away from the computer. Even when brainstorming or taking notes, use good old pen and paper. Turn off your electronics and remove your mind from distractions. You will find that not only you are more awake, but you will be better at directing your attention and maximizing the production of new ideas.
7. Drink coffee.
Coffee wakes up the brain and sparks creativity. Think of it as fuel for your idea generator. Combine it with any of the previous tips, and you’ll feel limitless. I only drink caffeine a couple times per month, so when I drink it, it has a profound effect on me to the point I feel like I can walk through walls and see into the future.
8. Surround yourself with creatives.
Hang out with creative people, those who can inspire you and give you feedback. Network and bounce off ideas with each other. Get inspiration from people in your social group, and then expand your social group. And if the idea calls for it, by all means, collaborate.
9. Finish things.
Get in the mode of finishing things. Once you start thinking of an idea, think it through and don’t abandon it. Feeling accomplished will provide a dopamine boost, and help establish a craving that in turn develops a habit. Yay, habit loop!
10. Don’t put yourself down.
Never think that you are not creative enough or don’t have what it takes. Creative is a mood, not a brain type. Give yourself a break if things don’t come as naturally in the beginning and take it light. Rather than forcing it, create a habit of producing ideas and realize that habits take time.
Whether you need it for your job or want to lead a more creative life, transforming your brain into an idea-generating factory can be life-changing on all levels.
Word of caution: create ideas at your own risk, the effects could be a more focused, enriched, creative way of living. You may find more time and joy in the things you already do, and discover newfound opportunities and experiences. Not everyone will be ready for the profound effects. So “idea” wisely.