Roni Krakover

17 ways to come up with “out of the box ideas”

out of the box ideas
  1. Take a piece of paper. Write on top the problem you’re trying to solve or the general title for the brainstorm session. Then write down as many ideas as you can, don’t stop until your paper is full. Then grab another piece of paper… the first few ideas that come up will be banal, the ones that will come later will be more interesting.
  2. Think of a person you know that you consider to “think differently”. Imagine you’re having a conversation with that person and asking them for ideas. What would they say?
  3. Browse through your closet and find something you never wear. Wear it for the brainstorm session to set a different mood. Put on a funny hat if you can.
  4. Meditate for 10 minutes before brainstorming, this will help clear your mind and make room for new ideas to come in.
  5. Write a list of ideas with your less dominant hand. Yep, that’s right. If you normally write with your right hand, try writing ideas using your left hand, even if it will be hard to read them later… This can boost your creativity, and has many other benefits. Google them.
  6. Go for a run. Many people report getting cool ideas during physical effort.
  7. Gather a group of people who think out of the box. Either organize a meeting or email them with a question and ask for ideas.
  8. Come up with ideas in drawings rather than words. Take some coloring pencils or crayons and start drawing ideas
  9. Start a brainstorm Meetup in your town, or join an existing one
  10. Release all judgment of ideas while you brainstorm – positive or negative. Even if something comes up that makes no sense, write it down. Don’t censor yourself
  11. Get out of the house. Knock on your neighbor’s door. Run back home before they open the door. Perhaps the adrenaline rush would boost your creativity (see, this is an example for the previous point about not judging ideas…)
  12. Go sit somewhere else. Coffee place, the park, the mall – not your regular work spot.
  13. Do something out of the box that will set you in a different mood. For example: prepare something funny to eat such as cucumbers with peanut butter or cornflakes with mustard, etc. eat it before / while you brainstorm.
  14. Read a chapter of the Bible/mythology/another ancient book, and try to get into the mindset of people in ancient times – what kind of ideas would they have?
  15. Open a book and put your finger on a random word without looking. Then, think of an idea that starts with that word.
  16. Things can sometimes be solved with narcotic substances (disclaimer: I just opened a book and put my finger on the word “things”. This came up and I decided to not censor myself, as I previously suggested. Just to clarify, I don’t use any narcotics and don’t recommend them to anyone else)
  17. Leave it on the back burner – after you’ve taken out all the banal ideas, interesting ideas might come up when you’re taking a shower, washing the dishes, etc.

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