Sometimes sitting around a board room table just is not a good way to get the creative juices. Sitting in the same room continually trying to bang out the same problem in the same way is enough to ruin anyone’s day – and an ineffective use of time. So instead of doing that, why don’t you try these five unusual ways to problem solve and generate fresh ideas?
- Get out onto the tennis court
Sometimes the best thing for you is to get your body moving, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop working if you’re on a strict deadline. Getting out onto the tennis court can be a fantastic way to bounce ideas around – try shouting out an idea every time you hit the ball, or every time you win a point. Cracking out that tennis racket is a great way to get your blood pumping, which can boost that creativity and additionally give you a well deserved break from the office.
- Turn it into a game
Even in a group setting, there often comes a point where people’s minds just stop turning and it feels like every possible idea has been suggested. Everybody is tired, everybody is fed up, and your project or problem starts to feel insurmountable. One way to combat this – if you have the right kind of office – could be to turn it into a game, for example choosing a random word from the dictionary and using that as a starting point to generate ideas. Though it may sound silly, forcing alternative perspectives or starting points is a great way to give idea generation a fresh start.
- Take a lunch out of the office
If you and your coworker have been discussing the same issue round in circles all day, and there’s no end in sight, a change of scenery and a hearty meal might be just what the doctor ordered. After a certain point it isn’t sensible to just keep trying to hash out the same discussion – so allow yourselves to do something enjoyable like taking a nice lunch out of the office while you’re discussing your project, and see if this helps to get the creative juices flowing.
- Take a solitary walk
Some projects are group projects and require everyone to be bouncing off each other; for some projects two heads are better than one; and for some, you need some space to yourself. If you’re just feeling overwhelmed by all the different voices around you – even if they are trying to help – then getting out of the office and taking a walk can be a great idea to give you that mental space you need. Before you know it, all those whirring mental cogs will start falling into place.
Many cultures have sworn by it for centuries, and it has a growing following in the western world too – there are countless apps available to help you do it, enough books to fill a shop, and a seemingly infinite number of blog posts about its efficacy. If you have been having trouble being productive lately, then adding a little daily meditation to your daily routine can be hugely beneficial – and you can even take a little meditative break during the day when you need to as well.
Everyone has hit that creative wall at one time or another – it happens to everybody from the CEO to the receptionist. But there are always ways around it, and ways to encourage the creativity to start flowing again; hopefully a few of these suggestions help you get yours flowing!