5 ideas about getting good ideas

Mar 16, 2015 | Better Writing

What will I write about?

Where do we go from here?

How can we fix this?

Ideas are the first step in getting from here to someplace better. So how do you go about getting good ones? Here are five ideas about getting good ideas.

Set yourself up for success

Feed your head with good information. That gives you lots of dots you can connect when you need an idea. Be sure to read outside your field or industry. That’s where breakthrough ideas come from.

Make sure your brain doesn’t have much to do

Your brain can’t devote energy to getting ideas if you’ve got it doing something else. So start doing something that doesn’t take much brain power, like doing housework or filing or walking or driving or showering. Those kinds of tasks leave lots of brainpower free to come up with ideas.

Go back to the well

Is there a situation where you’ve gotten good ideas in the past? Maybe you always get good ideas when you sit in a special chair, or do a certain activity (like gardening) or listen to a special piece of music. Recreate that situation.

Capture the ideas you get

There’s no sense in getting good ideas if you forget them as fast as you get them. Find a way to capture your ideas. My preferred ways are index cards and a digital voice recorder.

Don’t stop at one idea

The best way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas. Capture them all then modify and combine them. Use one idea to spark another.