Creative Thinking for Business
Creative Thinking E-book
6. Make Time To Think Creatively
This is so simple, but very few people do it. It’s one of the most effective things I started doing over a decade ago to help me come up with new ideas and to be creative. And it won’t cost you a dime.
Schedule “time to think” into your weekly work schedule. Make this a meeting with yourself. Begin with two, 2-hour sessions per week. Plan it out six months in advance. Then treat that “meeting” as the most important meeting you have all week. You know why? Because it is.
You might be wondering how you can fit another meeting into your schedule. Make the time. The benefits will be worth it. Just do it. There is really no excuse not to.
Okay, so you lose 10 percent of your time doing your normal mundane stuff, but I guarantee you will get many orders of magnitude more productivity in return.
Why do you think companies have Research and Development (R&D) departments? Call it your own R&D time. If you don’t want to put “thinking time” in your planner for fear people will think you’re just wasting time, call it PRADS (Personal Research and Development Strategies).
When spending time on PRADS, it’s best to leave your office or workplace and go somewhere quiet. If you have to stay at your workplace, shut your door, turn off the phone, and close your e-mail – whatever you need to do to get uninterrupted time to yourself.
Then just spend an hour thinking about some new ideas and solutions to problems. Pick one of the creative thinking tools you will learn by the end of this book and try it for 30-45 minutes. You don’t have to spend a lot of time to come up with a lot of new and interesting ideas.
Thomas Edison – one of the greatest inventors of all time – had some unique habits and strategies. Remember, he tried over 1000 times to invent the light bulb before he was successful. He never gave up and saw each design not as a failure, but “the elimination of a design that didn’t work, so we must be getting close.”
Edison spent a good deal of time just thinking. He fished off the end of his dock for an hour almost everyday of his life. He always fished by himself but he never caught any fish. Observers always thought it was strange that Edison would spend so much time fishing when he really wasn’t that good at it.
Late in life, he was asked about his obsession with fishing even though he was probably the worst angler anyone had ever seen. His answer was, “I really never caught any fish because I have never used any bait.” Most people were shocked and thought he was crazy so they asked, “Why in the world would you fish without bait?”
His answer? “Because when you fish without bait, people don’t bother you and neither do the fish. It provides me my best time to think.”
If he could do it, so can you.
Schedule your time to think on your calendar today. It’s the cheapest investment you’ll ever make in your life. Plan for it and do it – now.