5 Steps to a Powerful Thinking Session
When you have to come up with a great idea with a limited amount of time in which to do it, an engineered thinking session may be in order. People, being different, will all have their own methods for brainstorming. Aside from techniques that can allow business owners to approach a problem from different angles, there are also things they can do to create an environment that is conducive to thinking clearly.
1) Figure out whether you want to think alone or with a partner. Depending on the problem, you may want to go into your brainstorming with the benefit of your business partner, mentor or colleague. Thinking in pairs can be beneficial at times when a single perspective might miss part of a problem. You may also wish to present your problem to someone who you know has experience dealing with issues in your industry. If you can save time by getting a ready made solution tested by experience, then so much the better.
2) Find a quiet space where there will not be interruptions. Put your phone away, turn off the screens that you don’t need to think, and immerse yourself in some peace and quiet for once. The distractions presented by technology are both a blessing and a curse, since incoming emails, texts and social media updates threaten to break concentration or bring business owners away from tasks to work on new ones without ever completing them.
3) Grab a pen and paper. Taking notes with a pen and a paper can help business owners remember what they write down better. Additionally, reviewing notes can reveal the logical progressions that occurred during a brainstorming session, helpful for contextualizing new ideas when presenting them to others.
4) Have a cup of tea. Caffeine has been shown in studies to increase alertness, and the caffeine found naturally in tea can be a nice boost. For those who are sensitive to or do not like caffeinated beverages, tea can still be a good choice, as herbal teas often do not contain caffeine, yet can contribute to relaxation.
5) You may want to play some relaxing music. Music, such as classical music or simple electronic music often helps tune out external noise, allowing for more complete focus on the task at hand. Business owners who must work in noisy environments may wish to invest in some noise cancelling headphones for when they need to really focus on a project without distractions.
Photo Credit to Derek Σωκράτης Finch on Flickr