10 Fun Ways to Boost Brainstorming
Surprise! Turns out sitting around table with a blank piece of paper and people you’re not that comfortable with is not the best way to brainstorm. The best ideas are the most creative and sitting in a boring conference room isn’t going to help you. Dip into your fun side and try some of these tips for your brainstorming session!
“Doodling can inspire creative insight, increase attention span, and free up short and long-term memory”
It may seem silly, but doodling can inspire creative insight, increase attention span and free up both short and long-term memory. Rather than reading and talking during a brainstorming session, doodling can help break out of a traditional mindset and create a fun environment. Drawing random pictures will guide everyone to think about familiar concepts in a different way, potentially leading to an unexpected connection that could develop an idea which would have never been thought of without doodling.
Playing improv games is a great way to get people feeling comfortable and relaxed around each other. The comfort will allow everyone to feel free to share their ideas. A good laugh and fun from the game will funnel into brainstorming and increase the team’s creative abilities.
Turns out being a little tipsy does more than make you feel good. Alcohol decreases focus but can help come up with more creative ideas. Although alcohol does not mix well with analytical and intensive tasks, it can be great for creative thinking. In fact, next time you’re out having a good time and think of a business idea, write it down. When you’re sober the next day, and not too hungover, look through the ideas and cross out the bad ones. There’s sure to be a few keepers.
Watch YouTube Videos
Mood is key when it comes to imagination. Laughter and happiness spark creativity. Watching funny videos will relax everyone and potentially broaden their scope of interests. Like improv, the laughter will lead into the actual brainstorm, increasing the chances of inventive ideas.
Think About Death
Just like humor, visiting a cemetery or thinking about death might help uncover creative insight. As weird as it sounds, many studies have proven that under the right conditions, diving into our morbid sides might connect to our creative tendencies. It isn’t necessarily for everyone, but it’s worth a shot if it means a potential breakthrough.
Stand During Meetings
Walking around and standing invites refreshed thinking. When sitting, people simply go through an agenda and focus on getting through the next meeting topic. Being active and moving around frees people’s minds. Standing welcomes more ideas as people converse and continue conversation.
Act like Your Customers
One of the best ways to develop a good idea when brainstorming is to act like you’re the customer buying your company’s product. Let’s say your company sells car seats. For a day, act like a soccer mom and test out the seats. Drop your kids off at school, go pick up a latte from Starbucks, hit the gym, run some errands at Pottery Barn for the living room you’re redecorating. Finally, go pick your kids back up and take them to soccer practice at 6. The best creative breakthroughs occur when you put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
Spontaneous Dance Party
A great way to get through a mental block is to take a break and do something completely unrelated. Don’t just sit around and small talk. Have a dance party, play a game or sing karaoke. Having fun as a team will boost creative energy when focusing back on developing ideas, as well as increase chances of coming up with better ideas than before.
Work in the Dark
A scientific study proves that working in the dark can incite feelings of of freedom. Two researchers in Germany reported, “Darkness increases freedom from constraints, which in turn promotes creativity.” Turning down the lights reduces thought blockage, boosting creativity and analyzing new solutions. Other studies have shown that since blue is associated with peace and tranquility, the color helps people relax and let their imagination run freely. So, if working in the dark isn’t quite for you, developing ideas in a blue room is the next best thing.
Look at Old Facebook Photos
“WHEN PEOPLE REMEMBER PAST EVENTS, IT STIMULATES THEIR IMAGINATION.”
Researchers in Hong Kong conducted a study that found, “participants who were primed with nostalgic experience demonstrated higher creativity.” When people remember past events, it stimulates their imagination. The experiment concluded that nostalgia triggered by social interaction and negative affect was positively related to creativity.