As creative professionals, the work we do requires idea generation. Our business relies on thinking up good, new ideas all the time. Creativity is the act of generating new ideas to build, make, improve, develop, and ultimately satisfy the users of products and services.
When we are at the point of requiring to come up with a new idea, be it for the design of a building, writing a screenplay, illustrating a character, or composing music, it often proves a difficult task, simply because we are trying to be creative.
We are putting effort into creating something new, searching for inspiration online, in magazines, procrastinating, hitting ‘mental blocks’ and simply struggling.
So when we do eventually give up trying to generate a big idea, it is during those unexpected moments we so often claim to reach them. These moments may be lying awake at night, in the shower, whilst cooking food or out for a run.
It is in moments like these that we can be at our most creative, simply because we are not trying to be, and this is the contradictory nature of the game we are in.
“Mental clarity will eventually lead to strong idea generation.”
More often than not, we are constricted by time in coming up with new ideas in ways that work, especially when we are faced with work deadlines. If this is the case, there is a way to generate ideas in minutes through the process of simple meditation.
Forget any preconceptions you have about meditation being religious, spiritual, ‘for hippies’, and so on. We are talking about just getting comfortable and focusing on breathing for at least 5 minutes. Meditation will allow you to become detached from wandering thought and, interestingly, can reveal to you new ideas in the process.
Here is how to do this:
- Sit upright somewhere that is comfortable, and distraction free.
- Relax the entire body, but keep the spine straight, to prevent you from falling asleep if you are drowsy.
- Focus on a point directly in front of you slightly above eye level or close your eyes.
- Commit to coming up with an idea for anything you like, it might be for the project you are working on. Just commit to it.
- Now spend at least 5 minutes focusing on your breathing, becoming aware of any thoughts that come up and allow them to wash past you.
If you become engaged with any thought, simply drop it and let it pass. The object of this exercise is to be unattached to thought.
- Do this for as long as you like, focusing on your breathes and being aware, but detached from any thought.
- You’ll find that such mental clarity will eventually lead to strong idea generation.
When an idea does pop up, just acknowledge it and move on or end the meditation.
You’ll see by doing this that true creativity really does come when we are not trying, but simply staying focused.