Creativity Crisis: Learn How To Generate New Ideas

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you desperately needed to come up with ideas (for work or personal projects), and somehow your mind is a blank slate featuring *nothing*? Or was there a period of inspiration where you started out strong full of fresh ideas, wielding results left and right, but then suddenly the well of inspiration dried up, and you are now scrambling for a single drop of creativity? Well, been there and done that, and if you just hold on to this little guide, we’ll get over that slump together.

Here is a complete guide to help you reboot your brain and get the creative juices flowing again:

1. Brain-dumping, Focus Groups, Brainstorming Sessions 

All of the above require multiple people to get together and work in unison to conjure up ideas because, as we all know, teamwork makes the dream work. Now, these techniques all rely on the same premise: groupwork, but follow different steps.

  • Brain-dumping, albeit questionable sounding, basically involves a hyper-focused uninterrupted set time (of a few minutes) of literally dumping random ideas about a subject on a piece of paper so that you can come up with your very own idea.
  • Focus Groups, we suppose, are the more conventional method of putting together a group of people, getting them to weigh in on a topic, and then collecting the data.
  • Finally, Brainstorming Sessions, much like brain-dumping, also involve a group of individuals constantly having to come up with ideas and concepts over a common theme.

Either way, if you’re a big fan of group projects and organising people… good luck! 

2. "A Technique for producing ideas"

In a book written by Webb Young in 1940, which somehow is still relevant 80 years later, Young points out how coming up with ideas isn't just a subconscious phenomenon that occurs organically but also a process one can follow. 

According to Young, an idea is just an accumulation of old elements that come together to amalgamate a brand-new one, much like every movie sequel ever made.

But there’s also this 4-step process which breaks it down into more specific and digestible parts for people to be able to follow:

  • Gathering new material sounds just as straightforward as it is: you have to constantly consume material from everywhere and anything. You need to consume content at all times, including news, blogs, music, movies, and memes which is both easy and fun since most of us already do that.
  • Digesting the material means taking all the material you’ve consumed and putting it together to form connections and relationships between them that you didn’t know could be made. Consider this your very own multiverse of madness.
  • Unconscious processing is also very straightforward. According to Webb Young, minds always process information without us realising it. Unconscious processing is just letting your brain do what it’s already doing while you’re just keeping yourself distracted with other things right up to the final step of the process, which is:
  • The EUREKA moment, which is meant to happen organically and unprovoked, out of the blue, just like every other “eureka moment.” Make sure to write it down on the spot; Don’t get cocky; you will most definitely *not* remember it later, so make sure you make a note of it.

3. What other people are doing

Another good trick is to look at what other people, with a similar thematology are doing. Chances are they also went through a period of researching the market and coming up with ideas for themselves, so you can take a look at what they are putting out. However, remember to look at how their target audience is responding as well, and make sure that it’s worth going down that route first. Also, ensure you take an original approach to a shared concept rather than recycle your competitor's content.

4. Google search console

This is an honourable mention to Google’s "cheat sheet." At a time of real desperation, you can always use Google’s search engine to generate ideas by using Google’s autofill setting; type keywords in the search bar, look at Google’s autofill suggestions and just take it from there. Additionally, the “related searches” and the “people also ask” sections in Google can guide you to the right path regarding what people are interested in. Never underestimate the power of the search engine; use its algorithms to your advantage.

So there you have it: a quick guide to help you get over that slump you probably found yourself stuck on. Hope this helps just the right amount to get you producing top results in your respective field.