Sometimes we get in routines. It's not a bad thing. It enables us to tackle a fair amount of necessary tasks. It's like adding just enough oil to a wheel so it may continue to turn. A wheel that turns is effective, no doubt, but it's not being used to its full potential. And sometimes we need to break routines to get to that full potential. But that's easier said than done.
Routines place us in a state of mind so, even if you commit to breaking routine, it can't just be another notch on your to do list. You must break ALL routines, including your mental routine. This is often when innovation is born, which will take your life (personal or professional) to a new, more fulfilling level.
People can experience innovation in different ways. There are some complex methods for doing so, which are worth a shot, but there are also some simple activities that you can try to get started.
Here are a few fun methods that I practice and put to use recently when I created several marketing plans in a row. They can be done alone or as a group.
- Embrace your inner child. Think without limits. Write those thoughts down. Dissect those big "farfetched" thoughts to find realistic solutions and creative ideas.
- Watch the TedTalks within your least favorite category. Your mind doesn't work like these presenters, but it doesn't mean they don't have brilliant ideas. Explore and find a way to relate.
- Go for a nature walk. Pay attention to the sounds, the creatures, the sky, the ground, and all that's in between. Enjoy the natural peace and the enlightening thoughts that come with it.
- Create a word association list. Start with the "big picture" word and quickly begin to write down the next word you think of, and the next and the next. Do this for at least one minute, then review and pick a few of your favorite words to build on.
- Strike up a conversation with a grandparent. Ask about games they used to play, their traditions, their struggles and their accomplishments.