There’s a storm in your brain – a good one – and you can tell there’s all kinds of good ideas brewing up there! It’s time for a brainstorming session! Whether it’s just you or a group of bright minds, there are tons of ways to brainstorm. Below we’ve highlighted some of our favorite ways, but have fun finding whatever works for you!
Focus is your friend
– a long and intense brainstorming session can take a lot of focus on your part to reap the full benefits. So you’ll need some simple and effective tips and tricks to stay alert, awake and dialed in.
Take a Break – or two or three
The exact timeframe of a break during a brainstorming session will vary depending on the group or individuals who are engaged in the freewheeling thinking, but no matter what, ALWAYS set a time limit, and make it visible to all on a ticking timer or regular reminders of remaining time left to instill a little urgency to stay on track, without adding too much pressure. If your idea sharing session appears that it could turn into a long one, schedule breaks for everyone to take a step back from the process, head outside for some sun and air, use the restroom, etc. The average person’s attention span ranges from 5-20 minutes maximum when focusing on one topic, although we can choose to refocus on the same topic multiple times. Keep those timeframes in mind and take breaks accordingly for yourself or your crew.
AM or PM brainstorm?
this infographic on unfunnel.com puts a whole new spin on the terms “early bird” and “night owl,” and when each type of person is most creative. According to this information, those that consider themselves a morning person, may actually be most creative at night and vice versa. And the reason might surprise you, though it makes sense: when you’re tired or more relaxed your focus broadens and you are able to be more open and creative. When you are focused during your conceived “prime time,” you are zoned in on a few specific tasks, which will allow less room and time for creativity. Even though it might feel counterintuitive try some brainstorming in the evening if you’re a morning person and see what happens!
Have you noticed that your best ideas sometimes pop-up during your morning shower or on your daily commute to or from work? According to unfunnel.com, these times of “optimal distraction and dopamine producing activities” may set the perfect stage for idea cultivation and creative thinking. Other examples of these activities are running or working out, dreaming and cooking. As you go about your normal days and activities, maybe some of the ones just listed, take notice of any bright ideas that may come to mind.
Your brain is muscle, so work it!
Just like physical exercise primes the body for optimal health, mental exercises help bring out the best in brainstorming sessions. Most of us would like to believe that good ideas just happen almost magically – and sometimes they do. But more often than not, we need a little nudge or two in the right direction, or some quick exercises that get our mental power wheels turning in the right direction. Try these brainstorming exercises and let us know in the comments which ones worked for you!
Don’t forget to record your new ideas!
What a terrible feeling it is to have had a monumental idea, only to realize down the road that you forgot to record it somewhere. The worksheet technique mentioned above offers both a brainstorming exercise, while simultaneously creating records of all your thinking sessions in an organized format – win-win! But there are plenty of other ways to record you and/or your group’s musings.
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