I love to brainstorm. There is nothing like sitting down for 20 minutes and a goldmine of ideas down pour onto paper. I get a good feeling after I brainstorm on something. Here are a few basic rules I follow when I am Brainstorming.
Schedule a separate time
Brainstorming should not be on your to do list. It is not a simple easy to do process. I separate mine into a brainstorming list. I find nothing halts my action phase more than brainstorming. It takes a higher level of thinking than normal next actions. It is a ‘Boss Hat’ activity for sure.
Make sure you DO schedule a time though. Often because it’s not on my Next Action list I forget about it. So I now have a ‘brainstorming half hour.’ Rarely will it take longer than a half hour for me to completely brainstorm an idea. Lunch time may be a perfect time to do this.
Write it down
You can’t brainstorm in your brain. Nothing is more frustrating than thinking of a good idea, traveling down the path it leads you only to forget the original idea. Write it down. If it works for you get a software to help. FreeMind was built for brainstorming. While it doesn’t quite do it for me, it may work for you. I’m an old fashion paper and pencil type of guy, but find what works for you.
While you’re brainstorming you need to tell you inner editor to shut it. Brainstorming is not effective when you pick and choose what to write down. You can cross things off later, right now you want EVERY idea. Who knows the idea you censor might be the key to the entire problem.
These are my general rules for brainstorming. They work for me and I get a daily dose of good ideas. You won’t use all the ideas, but it’s still fun to let your head empty itself on paper. Give a try.
What are some of your brainstorming rules and regulations?