At times we all struggle to come up with that great idea, striving for that lightbulb moment when the fog clears and there is instant clarity. But sometimes the dots will just not connect no matter how hard we try! A frustrating but common problem in this busy and connected world. Life is hectic and taking or indeed finding the time is not always so easy. Keeping your business ideas and product lines fresh should and needs to be an essential part of your business strategy. Be that enhancing the development of new products, processes or simply engaging with a new target audience, the importance of sustained idea generation is paramount. So if you find yourself stuck in an idea rut, have a read of the 5 steps below to help unlock the idea process.
Write everything down
It may seem like a simple idea, but keeping a record of your thoughts in a journal or notebook is an important way to jog the memory at a later stage. At the time, the idea may seem half thought out or nonsensical, but it could prove to be the start of a chain of thoughts which ignites a great idea. So, start to carry a small notebook around and jot down those thoughts that occur to you during the day or night… You never know, one of those may just be the spark you need!
Research, Research, Research
The brain is like a sponge, it craves new information to soak up and evaluate. The importance of researching, reading and developing your inner thought process should not be underestimated. Get into the habit of reading books, industry blogs, white papers and newspaper articles. The more information you feed your brain, the more engaged and informed you will be on industry requirements. Taking 10 minutes a day to catch up on what’s happening in your industry or sector gives you that ‘insider’ knowledge on how to develop your own great idea.
Talk to others outside your work/family circle
Getting opinions and talking to your closest family and friends is important, but it’s also essential to step out from that comfort zone and engage with those who you may have little/less contact with. Engaging in conversation with others such as suppliers, consumers and those within, and indeed outside, your industry can often focus the mind and allow you to form a different perspective.
Change your routine
Do you engage in the same weekly routine? Don’t worry, we’re all guilty of it! Structure is good, but it can also be stifling to the creative process. Changing up your routine now and again can give you the freedom to clear your mind, develop a creative approach and spark that all important thought process. Changing your routine can be as simple as stepping away from your desk and getting 10 minutes of fresh air before lunch, working different hours than the normal nine to five (if your company permits) or even working remotely at times. Either way, change, no matter how small can often provide the clarity required.
Look around you!
We are all to blame for getting too distracted by work, technology or life in general. Sometimes we just can’t see the wood for the trees. Taking the time to step back, put down the phone, laptop or tablet and enjoy life without the constant buzz of notifications, emails and phone calls can enhance our thought process, clear the mind and give our brain the space it needs to connect those dots.