Very often people turn any issues over and over in their minds without finding an innovative solution for them. The explanation is that they are likely to solve all problems in the same way that means making a pros and cons list or calling somebody for advice. Here are advices to help you come up with unexpected answers for just about any questions in your life.
Pretend the problem is not very important to you
Try to mentally distance yourself from the issue by imagining you are solving it for someone else and it is not your problem or the deadline is not as close as it actually is. This will help you take in the large picture and open your imagination to approaches you possible have missed if you were thinking too narrowly. Instead of getting caught up in you can see the issue as a whole and think about it reasonably or calmly. For example, compare how open you feel to anything while dreaming about a project that is months away with how panicked you are when it is the night before you have deadline. Experts call this approach as creating psychological distance.
Draw a picture of the problem
Try to sketch out charts or timelines to help you see solutions. It means to see on paper in front of you. If you want improving your commute, draw out the different ways to find which is the shortest or most scenic. Or, if you need to cut your department’s budget, sketch an organizational chart that shows each job and its function to help you see positions or redundancies which could be eliminated or merged to save money. People often make assumptions without realizing it. Drawing a picture or diagram will help you address those hidden assumptions. When you are only thinking through a problem, it is easier to get over the details that jump out at you when you actually illustrate them.
Take a break from brainstorming
Try to stop sitting at your desk staring at the monitor. It won’t do any good. Instead, get up and try going for a run or even take a bath, if you are at home. Do not forget that Archimedes discovered the principle of buoyancy while being in the tub. Insights often come when people are taking a break from actively thinking about a problem. It allows the mind to work in the background, taking together fragments of information about the problem that were already floating around, while it effectively resets.
Work when you think you’re not at your best
No matter what the problem you are trying to solve, tackle it at the time of a day when you’d prefer to have your brain turned off. For example, if you always feel tired in the morning, get started on the problem right after sleep without coffee, if you can. Or if your favorite thing at night is to hang out with some friends, take a little time then to think about potential solution. Having less sharp focus can actually help you come up with a new solution to a problem. When taking a test that has a set answer for all questions you do best when you feel freshest; but when it comes to thinking creatively, too much brainpower can actually hamper your ability. So while working on a problem that has endless solutions and no single right answer you are better off being less focused. Being too dialed in may make you devise an overwrought solution when a simple one would do.
Move from your normal space
Try to be anywhere that is not your usual solving station. Sit in the coffee shop for an hour or just find an empty conference room. Changing environment can be the key you need to open up your mind. People subconsciously associate places with what they have experienced in them, which can be good in some situations as well as negatively affect your ability to think in an innovative way. Plus, a new environment means different stimuli, which might trigger new ideas or thoughts.