Having Ideas

Getting ideas can be hard.

ideas illustration

Ideas can seem elusive, if someone points to you and says "Give me an idea, right now!" What would you do?

Most people would probably freeze - their mind racing, maybe just matching up random words until they just mutter; 'um…'

Some people seem to have lots of ideas and these are the people that are considered ‘creative’. Some people find it easier to think of ideas for other people but struggle to think of ideas that they could use themselves.

The good idea

It has been said "You only need one good idea."

But how do you get a good idea? Well, in many ways I think you don't, and need only one is a lie. I think you actually need to have lots of ideas so you can compare them to see which is good.

The thing is, we all have ideas all the time. Thoughts pass through our heads and each decision we make through the day, like what to have for lunch, are all ideas. Unless you get in the habit of capturing and examining ideas then they can go unnoticed.

Ideas can be good, bad, exciting, useless, boring, life changing...

However you need to get them out. Think of them travelling down a big pipe and imaging there are a whole line of bad ones coming out first, but they are blocking the way for the really good one hiding at the back. You need to get them all out so you can access the golden ones.

Try a brain dump

A quick simple and popular way of clearing the idea pipe is to write down all the things you can think of either as a list, a mind map, a jumble – whatever works best for you. Your goal is to get as much down as possible. This is a great activity because your brain starts examining the subject, making connections and combinations that you might find useful. It also helps declutter your brain by literally dumping everything out to make room for new fresh ideas.

Tip. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down as much as you can in that time. This works on two levels 1 the feeling of running out of time can give you the push to get lots down, and 2 it just gets you started you may find you want to carry on after the timer ends.

Ideas can create other ideas. You can look at a bad one and think how do I make this better? By building on ideas, combining them, breaking them down and turning them over you can find real treasure. The more you do this, the easier it is to get straight to the good ideas.

Those people who seem to be full of ideas all the time are just more practised in getting them out. They don't limit themselves anf they process them quickly. I bet, if you listen to what they are saying, 9 out of 10 ideas they have aren't any good, but because they don't stop there, thy also come up with the brilliant one that everybody remembers. Out of 100 ideas they have maybe only 10 are useful, it’s the act of getting all those ideas out that allows them to get to the good ones.

Beware googling for ideas

The internet is great. It is a wealth of information and inspiration but it can also be a time trap and imagination drain. The results you get from searching the web are the most popular pages, the things that have already been done, seen by lots of people, maybe won awards etc. You run the risk of either imitating something you see or worse - giving up because you are overwhelmed with what you see.

If you have a goal but feel a bit stuck, or have lots of ideas but don’t know where to start,  then maybe now is the time to kickstart your creativity. I can workshop ideas with you to really give you a boost, then help you put a plan into action to make those ideas real.