Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Extacting that Idea or Solution

Anyone who has ever struggled to find a solution to a problem or to come up with new ideas often finds them in the least likely places or in the using the least direct approach, such as listening to an unrelated TED talk.  The concept is to free one's mind to search without restrictions.

1.  Brainstorm Without Restrictions or Boundaries
Just jot down whatever comes into your head. Don’t edit, evaluate, or attempt to organize. Complete freedom often lets the cream rise to the surface.  It isn't limited to just words, sketch fleeting images.
2.  Google It
Related or competing ideas often extend the boundaries of thought and solutions. How have others addressed the same or similar quandary? Examining what others have done can lead one's mind in new directions.
3.  Challenge conventions with "what-if"
What-if current capabilities or resources don't exist?  What if the needs are twice or three time more? If the worse or best circumstance exists, what might one do differently?  What if the opposite circumstance happens, how does that change anything or everything.  Sometimes trying to solutions to the opposite gives insight to the problem at hand.

4.  Exercise, take a walk.
It's often referred to as "writer's block."  Pushing too hard can stall the creative process.  Exercise can change the brain chemistry and rekindle the flow of ideas.  Many people report their best ideas often pop into their heads while taking a long walk.
5. Take a mental break.  Get away from the work.
Find something relaxing that takes the mind off the problem. Stimulate the reconnection of neurons with music, a light video, a relaxing book, or a TED talk.  Get outside, play. Sometimes the work environment force the mind into a nonconstructive corner, change the scenery. Remember the story of Archimedes or Galileo.  They may be myths, but the concept is valid.
6.  Sleep on it
While one sleeps, the mind still works and is unencumbered with convention thoughts or distractions. Some of the best insight follows a nap or a good night's sleep and after the stress of seeking that answer has be removed.

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