A Big Idea Can Come from an Odd Place

The pressure is on. The client is coming in from out of town. You need to be able to present some new ideas, new strategy and new thinking. But, for the moment your mind is dried up. How often have you found yourself in this impossible position? Well, I for one suggest that the best thing you can do is leave your desk, take a break, go out to grab lunch or just take a walk around the block to help unblock your creative mind.

Here are some of the most unremarkable creative venues in which I have come up with some great Big Ideas.

  1. A Bathroom Break. Never go to the bathroom without a pen tucked in your ear. And the white toilet paper or paper towels can afford a great impromptu place to write up a brainstorm. Or take your cellphone and jot your ideas on the Notebook app.
  2. Coffee Shop. A warm caffeinated drink on a cold day can not only warm your body, by rev up your mind too.
  3. Dog Walk. Take your dog for a long walk and enjoy nature, even if it’s in mid-town Manhattan or in the rural Vermont mountains. Relaxation will lead to freedom of body and mind.
  4. Home chores. Yup, that mindless buzz of the vacuum will help you focus on one thing, the noise. And that’s great, because the less you focus on the more you open up your mind to new ideas. They don’t say “whistle while you work” for nothing.
  5. The Shower. Have that cellphone or that pen and paper on hand. The soothing moisture and warm environment are a breeding space for great ideas.
  6. Close your eyes and picture yourself in your perfect environment. A holiday retreat. A walk on the beach. Swinging in a hammock. Take yourself temporarily out of your current environment and let the creative juices begin to flow.
  7. Take a power nap. Limit your naps to a maximum of 30 minutes. This well help to refresh and refocus you without interfering with your usual nightly routine or causing you to struggle to nod off come bedtime
  8. Play with toys. You gotta have office toys. There are some standard office toys including a slinky, a kaleidoscope, ball and jacks, fidget spinner. Take a break and play with your toys.
  9. Shake up your surroundings. If your office is near a park, like Central Park in New York, put on your coat and take a power walk through the meadows and trees. A walk in the woods is always great for clearing the mind.
  10. Sleep on it. And, if all else fails, go home and sleep on it. Everything seems better in the morning.

Life is a journey, and big ideas often lie along its path.

A Big Idea Can Come From Odd Places

mind_reading
A Big Idea Can Come From Odd Places

So, you are challenged with coming up with the proverbial Big Idea for a new public relations campaign. Where to start? How to begin? Well, I for one have always fallen upon a Big Idea in the most unremarkable places. Sometimes I find that if I leave the tumult of the office behind, and remove myself from the everyday commotion in a busy office, creativity soon follows.

Here are some of the most unremarkable creative venues in which I have come up with PR Big Ideas:
1. A Bathroom Break. For years, I have never gone to the bathroom whether in the office or at home without a pen placed firmly behind my ear. I’ve become good at coming up with either the lead sentence for a feature article, a tag line for a brand launch, or a Big Idea in this odd place. With relative ease, the roll of toilet paper becomes my writing surface.
2. The Shower. I guess it’s the sense-numbing sound of the water mixed with the penetrating heat that causes my mind to melt and allows freethinking to emerge. Now, if I could get my hands on the pad and pen that writes in the shower, my life would surely be easier.
3. The Dog. I am fortunate to have a large, black Labrador retriever who not only serves as my muse, but allows me to walk aimlessly around Manhattan, pen and note paper in tow, with creativity flowing. If I dare leave the house without pen and paper, there is always my cellphone where I either jot down or send myself an audio message full of Big Ideas.
4. The River. I live two blocks from the Hudson River and afford myself the glorious opportunity to walk along it almost everyday. During good weather, the paths are filled with bike riders, skaters, and joy-seekers. But during the colder months, I often feel alone along the river and its hidden pathways. Looking out at the sturdy tugboats pushing unwieldy barges through the current gives me peace of mind…and a peaceful mind often spawns Big Ideas. Again, make sure to record your Ideas by hand or via cell. Trust me when I say this, you’ll never remember them once you return home.

Life is a journey, and Big Ideas often lie in its path. Take the time to smell the roses, pet your pooch, take a shower, or meditate (always with a pen and paper handy). You’ll be surprised how easy it is to close one door of your mind and open the another to a creative moment.