Shaking Out Those Great Ideas

[We’ve all had this happen to us. You need to come up with that great idea and your mind is drawing a blank. A recent study polled marketing professionals across the board and asked them how and where they got their best ideas.
As you may have guessed, the most frequent answer was in the shower (37%). Second on the list was in the car (24%). Third was while exercising (14%), and fourth was while eating or drinking (13%).
The most telling fact about this study was that only 12% of the respondents said their best ideas came to them while they were at work.
It would be easy to dismiss this as just a funny anecdote. But there is a serious reminder hidden within this study. As marketing professionals, we are expected to be creative and think strategically on command. We sit at our desks with distractions whirling around us. The phone ringing, email beeping, a co-worker’s question or cute story about their weekend. And within all that chaos, we are expected to have our best thoughts.
So the next time you find yourself in the position of needing to find your best ideas, and you can’t seem to conjure them up at your desk… get out.
Try to shake yourself loose and change your surroundings. Drive around for a while. Take a walk in the park. Go to a toy store and play with the toys. Just let your mind wander and see where it ends up.
Can’t sneak away? Then try working in someone else’s office or in an unoccupied common space. This change in scenery can loosen up the thinking process for new ideas.
For some people, certain sounds or music allow them to free their mind. Maybe it’s a tabletop water fountain, a certain CD or one of those background noise gizmos you get at The Sharper Image. The specifics aren’t that important. What matters is that you find your own ways to jumpstart the process and shake the cobwebs and distractions, so that you can tap into your best thinking on command.
And if all else fails, go home and hop into the shower!
Until next month…

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