We’ve all heard the saying “think outside the box”, but what does it really mean? Does it work?
Thinking outside the box is a way to bring new, creative ideas to any project or goal. It’s a way to push your limits. It’s a way to expand your expectations. It’s bringing forth a new and novel way to tackle a problem.
Try these 5 creative ideas to begin, “thinking outside the box”:
1. Watch others. Learn from them. Look and listen. What do successful people do that you’re not doing or considering?
2. Expand your creativity by taking up a new creative project. Learn to paint or play a musical instrument. Take up creative writing. Work on a design project. Explore and expand your creativity with an activity you’ve never done before.
3. Mix up your daily routine. Routine can be a good thing, but when you want to expand your mind, try something novel. Move through your day looking for a different way to do things. Take a different way to work. Order up a different type of coffee than your usual. Take a break from the ordinary.
4. Question things. Pose the question, and then answer it as if you are someone else. Think how a successful person would answer the question. Think how a child would answer the question. Then expand on those answers with your own ideas, and see if you can make them grow.
5. Learn something new. Expansion and growth only occur if we’re willing to learn new things. Be open and curious to listening to, and learning from, new and novel ideas, information, and strategies.
When does “thinking outside the box” NOT work? Keeping your thinking “inside the box”, close to home, so to speak, is effective for these 5 reasons:
1. Building on established methods and ideas works!
2. Practice makes perfect.
3. Our best ideas are often right in front of us.
4. Thinking outside the box can present too many options, causing us to lose focus.
5. Too many options can cause stress, which can hinder forward movement.