The Guide To Coming Up With Great Ideas

If it is important for you to create and constantly come up with new ideas as part of your career, then waiting for it to ‘come to you’ certainly won’t be a viable method to use. The great thing is that there are processes you can follow to increase your level of creativity and help you come up with various ideas to choose from. Of course, creativity is not an exact science and there is no one for all formula but the process of creation can definitely be optimized.

Finding Inspiration

Set Aside Time

Belle Beth Cooper says that in order for your creativity to feel safe and start to emerge, your thoughts will need time to settle. A good way to train your mind to relax is by setting a regular time for creative thinking.

Find a Creative Space

Your environment has a huge impact on how productive you are. This includes the temperature in your room, the colour of your walls and the noise happening around you according to Leo Widrich, COO/Co-founder at Buffer.

Juliet Zhu marketing professor and co-director at the branding center at CKGSB has conducted a series of lab and semi-field experiments to examine the relationship between personal environment and creativity. They have collected reliable results that prove that various environmental cues impact people’s cognition and behaviors. You can read the interview here.

Have group discussions

Group discussions can help you to develop your ideas by bouncing them off others and incorporating their thoughts and ideas into yours.

Get out of your comfort zone

Get out of your routine or comfort zone and do something you wouldn’t usually do. A new experience can be ideal to bring you the new perspective you need to generate new ideas.

Gather information

Read More Books

Reading a book is a great way to get new ideas and stimulate new thoughts. It puts you into the mind of the writer and activates your imagination.

Randomly Surf the Web

You should take about an hour to randomly search the internet. Without looking for anything specific, you can open yourself to a lot of learning experiences. You can use the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button on Google and enjoy the ride from there.

Watch lectures

You can find inspiration from motivational speakers and industry leaders. You can watch Ted talks or attend lectures to get new ideas and the motivation you might need to build on your current ideas.

Sift the information

Try blind writing

When you can’t seem to get any ideas flowing, try to take a few minutes to just sit down and write. Take about 15mins and force yourself to write no matter what the result is. Simply putting pen to paper will help stimulate your creative abilities and help you get a better look at your thoughts.

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Make a mind map

This is a strategy that allows you to create a map of your thoughts that will help you generate new ideas. Take a topic that you want to build on and write it in the middle of a page. Draw out branches from it and write out subtopics that you can also branch out from, following your train of thought. This helps you to visualize your underlying ideas and develop on them to create new ones.

Learn to Rolestorm

Just like play acting, rolestorming helps you see things from a different perspective. You imagine you are someone else (preferably someone with expertise in a particular field or an icon you admire) and try to put yourself in that person’s shoes. Imagine how they might approach your topic or situation and this would help you consider your topic from a different point of view.

Increasing Brain Functionality


You can improve your creativity with guided meditation. There are various apps that offer guided meditation and teach the basics for beginners. Find a quiet place where you won’t get disturbed, sit tall in a comfortable position and focus on the topic you are trying to build on. This will help you to focus and clear your mind from everyday issues. When you clear your mind, you make room for new ideas to start flowing.

Exercise on a regular basis

Exercise strengthens your body as well as improves your focus. Regular exercise will help you brainstorm for a longer period of time. To keep your mind strong and healthy, you should get at least thirty minutes of exercise every day.

Get enough sleep

Getting an adequate amount of sleep is an important factor in how much you can accomplish in a day. We stated in 13 Productivity Tips For Startup CEOs that there is no evidence to support the popular belief that eight hours of sleep is ideal. Studies have shown that six and a half to seven and a half hours a night is best to help you reach your optimum creativity level.

Eat healthy

Maintaining a healthy well balanced diet helps to improve brain functionality. Dr. David Perlmutter suggests that the types of food you eat may be the most important factor you can control that relates to the health, vitality, and functionality of your brain. You can also find a great list of brain-boosting foods here.

Remove limitations

When considering the matter at hand, take away the real life limitations. Don’t box yourself while brainstorming by considering geographical or financial limitations, just let your mind wander to the best possible outcomes you could want. After allowing this, you might get the idea to substitute your ideals for more practical options.

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Internalize materials unconsciously

James Webb Young suggests that to create new ideas, you should drop the issue and try to put it out of your mind while focusing on other things. Thus, letting your subconscious do the thinking for you. The science of unconscious creativity is explained in “Why we have our best ideas in the shower: The science of creativity” by Leo Wildrich

Getting ideas

This is when you start to get ideas popping into your head seemingly out of nowhere. They may not all be goldmines but it is important to write them down and select the best ideas out of them.

Don’t accept all your ideas

At this point don’t get too attached to your ideas. It would be helpful to allow them to be criticized by unbiased parties. This will help you improve on your idea and point out aspects that you might not have considered.

Shape and develop your idea

There are various steps that can be taken to develop and shape your idea. In order to turn your idea into a reality, you have to consider who you are trying to engage, identify your area(s) of expertise and where you might need help from others. You have to consider technically, what you want to do and how to do it.

Share your idea

Share your idea with people whose opinions you trust. They can help add to it and/or improve on it. Doing this can help you create even more ideas and make the one you already have better.


After going through the above phases, you may not be found with the best possible version of your idea. You can take whatever new information you get from sharing your idea with people and repeat the process. You can continue to do this, adding to and improving on your idea until you have the best version of it or you reach your deadline.

Most people who have a lot of good ideas, also have a lot of bad ideas. Seth Godin wrote that you have to be willing to generate a lot of bad ideas in order to have good ones. You simply have to continue with the process of creating to get those great ideas that you need.

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