Thursday, November 25, 2010

5 tips to thinking outside the box

They say creativity comes from thinking outside the box. But as we all know, that sometimes is hard to do. Whether you’re trying to solve a tough problem at work, start a business, get attention for that business or write an article, creative thinking is important. It’s not easy to change your perspective and see things differently. I think a creative person is someone who tends to always look for a new angle, is motivated and keeps their perspectives fresh. As professionals, we can’t just sit down and plan to come up with a brilliant idea or the perfect motivation for a project. But if we live life always looking for great reasons to be motivated, I think we can find that creativity. 

I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some tips for you that have worked for me in the past. 

Think of yourself as creative. 

Yes, just think it. Even if you don't think of yourself as creative person, creativity is expressed in different ways. I believe we all have a spark of creativity inside us; it’s just a matter of how you use it, as well as knowing where and when recognize a great opportunity. Think positively. For example, if there are two solutions to a problem, try them both. Which one works best? Which one is more creative? 

Put your new “idea” into action. 

Don't worry what other people think. By trying out your creative ideas, even if you don't succeed at first, you'll learn something and give your creativity a chance to shine. My friend (who is recent entrepreneur in Janesville) says rather than thinking of all the reasons not to do something, think positively and take a risk. What a proactive way to think. In college, I wanted to start a professional blog. But I waited, kept waiting, until finally … I just did it. Truth is, I was afraid I wouldn’t know what to write or that people wouldn’t want to read what I had to say. Three years later, http://trish gets hundreds hits a day and has triggered writing/blogging jobs for me. Take action on your ideas!
Be inspired! 

Visit a museum, watch a documentary, read a book you wouldn’t normally read or go to a show at the Armory. Try going somewhere you’ve never been or seeing something you've never seen. Inspiration can spark creativity. 

Play board games. 

This is a fun way to foster creativity. Get together with friends/family and play charades or another game where winning is based on being expressive and coming up with creative ways to communicate. 

Take a break. 

If you’re stuck for ideas, don’t just sit at your desk and stare at the walls. Get outside for a bit and recharge your mind. Many folks have the next few days off for Thanksgiving. If that’s you, now is a great time to take advantage.