Welcome to the last week of International Ideas Month, 4 weeks "dedicated to all ideas—large, small, great, not-so-great, past and current as well as ideas yet to come" This is the fourth and final post in a series. (Catch the previous posts at the bottom of this article)
Sometimes, there's no amount of pre-writing or drafting that you can do to get your ideas ready for prime time. Here are some tips to help you think more clearly and figure out key elements of your idea before you take it public:
1. Take a walk.
Seems so simple, but a little activity and a change of scenario does wonders for our brains (the rest of our bodies don't mind, either). Even a 5-minute spin around the office can help, but best results, for me anyway, involve getting outside. The point isn't to necessarily think on your idea—though that's cool, too. Look around. (You might even see something funny like this alien tag I found in SoHo the other week). The activity will either clear your head, leaving room for your idea to germinate a little on its own, or refocus and recharge your thinking about your idea to bring it to the next level. Strapped for time? Stand up and take some deep breaths.
2. Listen to music.
Another way to shift your gears a bit that doesn't require you to leave your desk. Put in those ear buds and listen to a song—even one can give your brain the space it needs to work on your idea while you're jamming out. Pick your favorite song of all time, or one you that puts you in a good mood. If you're feeling stressed, pick something that helps you relax, or makes you remember something calm and fabulous. Bonus: Walk and listen to music, but be careful about walking into the street. Seriously.
When I can't get my mind to focus on a particular idea, I bag it for awhile and move on to something else. This does two things: 1) Keeps me from getting bogged down and getting behind, and 2) let's my mind work on the idea quietly in the background.
Try these tips next time you're struggling with developing your ideas. Good luck!
- How to build support for and make change with your ideas
- 4 steps to build rationale for your ideas
- Using pre-writing and drafting to get your ideas on paper
- A better way to suggest alternatives and new ideas