Whether it’s for work, our family, or our ourselves, we eventually run out of ideas.
If you’re like me, you both believe that ideas are important, and you’ve been told that they are. The question is, how do we come up with ideas? Obviously, they come from the brain, but what if the brain is saying, “I don’t know.” How do you reactivate it to give you ideas?
For my weekly blog, I was out of ideas. I wondered what I was going to write about that wasn’t the same thing with different wrapping.
Then, I realized that being out of ideas was an idea.
This leads me to my first suggestion:
- Don’t reject a thought without considering it as a possible idea. I was thinking about my lack of ideas and then considered the possibility that other people have the same problem, making this something I could write about.
Sometimes your mind is entirely blank. There is nothing fresh present in your mind. Perhaps you are tired of sitting in front of a computer. If all this is the case, here’s my second suggestion:
- Get up and do something. Wash dishes, walk the dog, take a few minutes to read, exercise. Releasing your focus gives your mind the opportunity to reset and refresh. It’s rather like a computer reboot that removes the hang-up.
Your thoughts, comments dreams, meanwhile, are fodder for ideas. Consider my third suggestion:
- Write down everything that pops into your head, even if it seems like nonsense or something insignificant, including dreams. Then, review everything you wrote and consider if anything makes more sense then you originally thought or if any combinations are meaningful.
Sometimes you have ideas and don’t even know it. My fourth suggestion is:
- Talk with a friend or family member – they may point out what you just said as a great idea.
Your environment can be a source of ideas. My fifth suggestion is to:
- Look up. There might be something on the ceiling, in the sky or in the trees that’s motivating. Or look down. Perhaps there are bugs or interesting features on the ground.
Maybe you are truly short of ideas. If this happens, try to:
- Search for ideas on the internet. If you use an idea from the internet, make sure that you give credit where credit is due.
You could also try a different craft:
- If you are a writer, try painting; if you’re a painter, try writing. Doing something different may give you an idea away from your usual craft, or you may discover that you had hidden skills in the new area.
Perhaps you tend to get your ideas from your own life. If this happens, remember to:
- Consider the lives of others as a possible source. Have you thought about how someone else might react to a disease or what the life of a military veteran might be like?
Being out of ideas can be a boring or distressing situation. Remember that there are lots of ways to find ideas. Open the gates and let those ideas in.
Roxy Merizalde works for Texas Workforce Commission as a Training Specialist. Pre-COVID-19, she traveled throughout Texas teaching staff The Workforce Information System of Texas (TWIST). Development activities include TWIST, WIT and SharePoint courses and online versions for TWIST.