Lately I have been working on several new projects and sometimes feel bored, even burned out, with my own concepts and views. When I find myself spent and disenchanted, a blazing boost of brilliance is required (and yearned for).
"Time to consult some silliness," I said to myself this morning. Then I SCAMPERed and maneuvered an obstacle course in my mind. Doing so helped with my ruts and going-nowhere routine. In case you need to be intellectually invigorated, I will tell you what I did. These easy, dippy exercises, simple enough to be recommended for use with kids, may bring you a great notion.
SCAMPER, my first activity, is a mnemonic to remind me of a series of questions to ask myself about something I am trying to improve, whether that be a product, service, or idea. The letters stand for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. Click for complete instructions on how to use SCAMPER (MindTools). That link includes several questions to ask about each letter or step.
Obstacles, my next method, is a game with the goal of increasing or at least exercising players' creativity. From "Obstacles as a Path to Creativity" (Unwrapping the Gifted):
The game's stack of obstacles includes things like a swamp, a wall, a maze, a blizzard, an ogre, and a dark tunnel. Each player is dealt some (we used up to 8 each) random tools, such as a lever, fireflies, a stick of butter, a shower curtain, a copper pipe, and an umbrella. The players then - competitively or cooperatively - create ways to conquer each successive obstacle using the few tools they have available when encountering each obstacle.
Although the randomness of actually playing the game would be fun, today I made up a list of my own obstacles (ones I am really experiencing) and then used the "Other Lists" setting on my word generator app to create a list of tools. I was surprised that some of the solutions seemed workable. They just may facilitate a new direction, or maybe a new pathway in my mind. Although I had fun doing this alone, I think it would be entertaining and beneficial to do with a few other people someday.
Those were my early-morning adventures. What are your most productive activities for generating new ways of thinking?