It’s been said that creativity is a muscle and the more you use it the bigger it gets. Well if that’s true then my creative muscle should be on the cover of “Creative Muscle” magazine. As would anyone’s creative muscle who had spent as much time as I have being paid to simply “come up with stuff”, i.e. dream.
Most people complain that their job isn’t creative enough. I have the exact opposite problem. I am lucky. I know that.
I’ve found there’s really one big secret to reliably coming up with good ideas. And it’s this: to only think about the problem. And to never rack your brain for ideas. It might sound odd but it makes sense. A lot of people, when faced with a creative challenge, panic and start desperately searching for solutions to a problem they never really defined to themselves. So they literally don’t know what they’re looking for. And it spirals from there.
By purely focusing on the problem you are subconsciously building up a very clear picture of what the solution will look like. So you know what a solution will look like when it comes time to come up with ideas/solutions. Because ideas are cheap and may not solve the problem. Solutions are valuable. So don’t come up with ideas, come up with solutions.
And coming up with solutions should be done at the last minute. Sorry, but that’s just how it works.