Working hard is overrated.
What’s really needed is more breaks.
Can’t figure out your next idea? Take more breaks. Don’t know which article to write next? Take more breaks.
In order to create something new, you need to make space for it.
I once heard someone say, “The universe abhors a vacuum,” and I think it’s true. So, if you’re stuck on a problem, or you’re trying to figure something out, embrace the void. Get still and stay with it. Empty out your mind and forget whatever it is your thinking about.
For example, say you’re stuck on what to write about for your next blog post. You have a couple of ideas but can’t seem to get things to flow together in just the right way. The solution? Stop what you’re doing. Go for a walk. Go exercise. Do whatever you can to give your conscious mind a break.
It sounds counterintuitive because it is. But it works.
It’s a part of the “ideation process” and it’s highly effective.
So, are you finally ready to break through with that next great idea?
I thought so. Follow the ideation process below to get started.
Creating Eureka Moments
Where do “eureka moments” come from? Author James Webb Young wrote a book on the subject called A Technique For Producing Ideas.
Young’s thesis is that idea creation isn’t simply about waiting for inspiration to strike:
It’s a methodology.
Here’s what it entails.
The Ideation Process
Ideation is a process by which you assimilate various ideas into new patterns; it’s idea sex. The process goes like this:
- Gathering Raw Material– Read and gather as much material as you can from a variety of sources. Interested in cars? Read a book on the history of the Ford assembly line. After that, feel free to read about Richard Branson’s quest for commercial space flight. There are no wrong or right ways to do this. When you’re done reading, brain dump what you’ve learned into a “swipe file.”
- Digesting The Material- Now that you have some material to work with, take some time to ask yourself questions about any relationships, commonalities, or interesting elements that exist between the disparate ideas. Write down anything you think is important.
- Unconscious Processing- Now that you see patterns emerging and have ideas from step 2, you’re ready for your big idea, right? Wrong! This is the time to get far away from everything. Go take a walk. Go sit in the sauna. Don’t think about coming up with ideas in this step. Let your unconscious mind go to work processing the different ideas in your head.
- Eureka Moment- This is the big moment you have been waiting for. This is when you give birth. Your mind will give you a “eureka moment” of discovery. Young says, “It will come to you when you are least expecting it…”
So, instead of smacking your self in the head with your keyboard and screaming at the universe for ideas, take a break.
Run through the ideation process above and give yourself the mental space needed to create new ideas. Your boss and keyboard will thank you.