When our daily routines are geared toward barreling through a to-do list, it can be hard to set the right conditions for creativity. Fortunately, there is a time-tested approach — that’s also quite simple — for generating creative ideas.
- Gather raw materials in your area of interest. This could mean anything from articles you’ve been meaning to read to the browser tabs you’ve left open on your computer.
- Spend time digesting the material — and looking for connections. Fill in small index cards with notes, as if you’re trying to solve a puzzle. Shuffle between the physical cards looking for patterns and themes.
- Do nothing. Find a way to disengage your mind to allow unconscious processing, whether that’s by taking a walk, listening to music, watching a movie, or even taking a shower. This may not feel like tangible work, but clearing some headspace will make room for the ideas to come.
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