Your biggest enemy of success just might lie within your comfort zone. That is, thinking the same way will keep your life the same.
The best way to combat a stale routine and an immovable goal is to boost your level of creative thinking.
But, do you know how to think outside the box? It might seem easier said than done to change the way you think but nowhere near impossible.
We’ve made it a little more simple with these tips to train your mind into a whole new way of thinking creatively.
1. Start From Scratch
Being stuck on a certain idea or a way of doing a job can leave you drained. There’s no way to think outside the box when you have locked yourself in the box.
So, ditch your original idea and start from the beginning. This fresh start can open new doors for you and get you out of the funk you were in. It will take you down a new path by relieving you of the stress caused by the original plan.
You can also come back to your original idea with a fresh perspective if that works best.
2. Admire Art
Pick up a good novel or go to an art museum to start thinking outside the box.
Someone else’s creativity inspires you on many levels. Stories spark ideas and generate new strategies by observing how characters handle situations differently than you.
Looking at art can also activate parts of your mind and increase blood flow to the brain.
Taking a break to indulge in other’s creative processes encourages your own creativity.
3. Study a New Trade
An out of the box thinker accumulates knowledge from new topics that might be unfamiliar.
For example, studying an industry other than your own might bring about new ways to tackle a problem.
If you are in the marketing world, look at how nonprofits reach their constituents. or vice versa. You may think that you know everything about your job but seeing how others work with similar intent can broaden your skills.
4. Write Freely
Sometimes your brain just might be suffering from writer’s or thinker’s block. To remove the block, let your brain wander freely.
You can start jotting down anything that pops into your head. Out of the box thinking stems from our natural stream of thoughts. All you need to do is find the key to open the floodgates.
Grab a sheet of paper instead of using the computer to brainstorm. This will trick your brain into thinking differently and more openly.
You can also mix words with drawings. They do not have to be masterpieces. Doodling will help use both sides of your brain to be creative by representing your idea in script and image form.
5. Immerse Yourself in a Different Culture or Religion
Your environment makes you feel comfortable, but it also keeps you from changing your opinion, mindset, and overall routine. Placing yourself in another atmosphere can do wonders for the mind.
Visit an ethnic festival or religious site, observe people, and read about other belief systems.
You may begin to realize the limitations of your thoughts when your beliefs are challenged. See here how you can transform your innate processes by reducing generalities created by one-way thinking.
6. Take a Trip
It should be no surprise that thinking outside the box should include a trip outdoors.
Taking a simple walk or hike will let fresh air into your lungs and change the scenery. You can forget about your challenges and let your mind relax to reengage it later.
Nature is a great meditative remedy for a cluttered mind as it improves concentration and clarity.
You can also go on longer trips that give you an extended vacation from your work or problem. Sometimes you need to step away to see the bigger picture.
The new environment will also spark some ideas as you explore. Make sure you have fun because it will relieve stress and make you happy. Joy will have you thinking of different approaches to your problem without even knowing it.
7. Ask Why
Routine turns you into a robot that acts without asking why. Why is something done a certain way? Why has this never changed? Why can’t it be changed?
Challenge the status quo and you will see that the answers are usually based on convenience. Change takes some effort. And effort means someone has to take the initiative.
If you feel like the flaw in your process is systematic then ask someone why it has to be done this way. If there is no real answer other than “because that’s how we have always done it,” then its time to make a change.
Rearranging the structure of your job removes roadblocks and develops into ways to be more creative in your field.
How to Think Outside the Box on a Tight Schedule
One of the biggest challenges when contemplating how to think outside the box is time.
We are all on tight deadlines, have multiple projects to complete, and bosses to please. Finding time to be creative can be a challenge in a world where time is money.
But, taking small moments to use these strategies can, in the long-run, make your job easier. You won’t be wasting precious hours trying to make improvements when new ideas come with ease.
Being creative is just one way to remove stress and care for your mind and body. Browse our online magazine for some more healthy lifestyle tips!