10 Brainstorming Tips

Brainstorming is an excellent tool for your work and your professional life, but it can also be used to great benefit in your personal life as well. If you have a problem, job to finish, or goal to reach, it’s a great time to…

10. Be healthy

If you want to do brain work, you better make sure your brain is in working condition, if you want optimum results. This means, you need to keep your mind and your body as a whole, healthy. Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, eat well, get exercise and keep your stress to a minimum. If you’re not doing some of these things, a paper that would normally be filled with your ideas, could remain a daunting blank slate instead.

9. Use your mind

Of course you will need to use your mind to brainstorm, but realize that the process started long before the actual brainstorming session. If you’re not constantly learning, problem solving and acquiring new information, your brain is likely to become stagnant and lethargic. Later, if you want to brainstorm, you’re not going to be half the man, or woman, you would’ve been. Keep your brain active. Read, write, philosophize, discuss, problem-solve, learn. If you have a keen, honed and active mind, when the time comes to use it, your mind will be primed like an Olympic sprinter, already in their stance and waiting on the mark.

8. Use critical thinking and creative problem solving

Critical thinking will give you a great many useful ideas to meet your goal, but don’t forget to make an active effort to be creative and different. Critical thinking may solve problems others can’t, or do it more efficiently, but frequently does so with the same useful ideas others before you have already conceived.

There may be another route, a better way, something strange and innovative, that only you can come up with. Don’t forget to look at the situation from your angle, their angle, every angle. Make lists. Do word maps. Think of ridiculous solutions and see if any of them have anything to offer. Sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need to come up with a creative solution and that is where innovation and staggering successes are born.

7. Take a break and come back to it

Sometimes, due to fatigue, or limited perspective, the best way to arrive at an idea is not to think about it. Take some time off. Spend 15 minutes, or a couple of days doing something else and then come back to it.

Just like everything else, your creative and analytical mind has good moments and bad moments. If you’re brain is stuck in a rut, give it time to reboot and come back to it 20 minutes later. You might be surprised by a dramatic outpouring of ideas. Letting something sit in your subconscious often hatches many little eggs. Even if you came up with a lot of good ideas, come back to it later, when you’re in a different state of mind. You may see things from a surprisingly new perspective and get a whole new avenue of ideas, which might be even better than the first ones.

6. Utilize other people

Ask other people for ideas. No matter how good you are, you’re not the only person on the planet with good ideas and there’s no monopoly on them. There’s no shame in getting a better idea from someone else. The important thing is that you come up with the best possible idea. It doesn’t matter if it came from you, a book, or a co-worker down the hall. Many people love to give ideas and feedback. This is a great way to bond and build camaraderie, while you give your brainstorming the best chance for success by getting some fresh perspectives on the subject. Cannibals aren’t the only ones who believe that “two heads are better than one.”

5. Utilize other resources

Use the internet, books, encyclopedias, movies, music, whatever it takes to give you inspiration. If you’re brainstorming in a certain area, for example: an economical problem, self-help books about money and finance might be a great place to start, or you could watch movies like “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Wall Street,” to try to trigger random linking ideas. Also, don’t underestimate your creative mind. Do other things. See other movies. We often get our best ideas from things that seem unrelated, but our brains weave a web of ponderous connections and the next thing you know, you realize things are connected in a way you never even realized before. 

4. Draw from your own experiences

They say there’s no teacher like experience. You can check all the reference materials you want, but most of your best ideas will probably come directly from your life and your experiences, so make sure you’re living and loving and learning, because your greatest resource database will be your own life and if you’ve done nothing to fill it, your reference database will be an empty folder.

3. Keep your goal in mind

Don’t just keep a general problem in mind and then brainstorm for solutions. One mistake many people make is that they never define the goal correctly. You should make sure that you are very clear on defining what the problem is, or what the problems are. From there, you need to determine your goal very accurately, so accurately in fact, that you should haggle over word choice and the structure of your statement. Make sure you write it down, so you can reference it during your brainstorming. 

During your brainstorming you should have the goal written in front of you in the simplest and most accurate terms and you should repeat that goal to yourself out-loud over and over, in order to keep your mind focused on the specific task you want it to perform. Your mind is an amazing tool, which can answer almost any question, but you have to ask the right questions to get the right answers. 

For example; a woman might ask, “Why should my husband be allowed to have female friends?’
But the real question should probably be, “Why am I so jealous?” This might lead the wife to ask, “Why is my self esteem so low?” Eventually, the wife may find herself asking, “How can I enhance my self-esteem?’

So you see, in this hypothetical question, it took several questions and a considerable amount of critical thinking, just to identify the correct question, which needs to be answered. Problem solving is often like this. Each question can be like cutting out a length of weed, but if you don’t get to the very last piece and get pull it out into the daylight, that weed is still obscured and will grow back. The problems we know the correct questions to are the easiest to solve.

2. There are no bad ideas, only stifled minds

Brainstorming is not a time to evaluate, elaborate, or judge. Those steps will come later. Don’t stifle your creativity by second-guessing everything. This is simply your time to come up with as many ideas as you can and put on paper and when you run out of paper, go get another piece. If most of your ideas suck, are ridiculous, or unrealistic, don’t be embarrassed. That’s to be expected. Remember, it often takes 10 or 20 bad ideas, just to come up with one good one, but that’s the recognizable process. That’s what brainstorming is.

One of the best things you can have are options. All it takes is one good idea to reach your objective. You should think of all the bad ideas as though each one were $100 bills, a currency you’re paying the universe, which is like a taxi driver, moving you closer to your greatest ideas.

1. Type or write everything down

One of the worst feelings in the world is to come up with a truly great idea and then lose it, because you didn’t write it down. Even if you have a wonderful memory, write it down, or type it and hit save. Even if you have a memory like a steel trap, there may come a time when you get an emergency phone call, a fire alarm goes off, or you get into a car accident and forget everything.

Also, during the course of brainstorming, there may be ideas you cast aside at one point or another, but decide you want to come back to later. You don’t want to be a creative genius, only to find your ideas have been stolen, not by a competitor, but by your own faulty memory and your foolish lack of diligence.

The brain will process information subconsciously for a long time, even after you finish. If you need notes to connect the dots, don’t strand your creativity between stepping stones. It’s just as they said, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

 Write it down.

Comments sent

3 comment(s).
Dario Artavia - 12/12/2013 11:48:40 AM
it is important to have a clear concious if you want to come with some new good ideas, people how is always on stress or people who has been on laziness for a long period of time sometimes are useless on solving problems, so before ask someone to give ideas, be sure of the person that you want to take advice is not one of those...
Evelyn Vaglio - 12/11/2013 8:02:04 AM
In my opinion to keep a goal in mind is the best way to reach that you want to. I believe that our subconscious mind is powerful and if we feed it with the correct things in a conscious level, it will help us with the achievement of our goals and desires. I remember a phrase from Facundo Cabral that says: "Yesterday I dreamed that I could do it and today I can". This is a motto in my life, because that you think you are.
Gloriana Garita - 12/10/2013 7:02:37 PM
Thousands of times I have heard the phrase two heads think better than just one, but think about something, if you are just in a 50% and the other person as well, you will make add to just one person, so it is important to consider some tips to make a brain storming useful, like being healthy, sleep properly, be open to other ideas and always write everything down.

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