What to do when you run out of ideas.


It can be stressful if you are busy at work, multiple projects and clients are demanding your attention. You are tired and the ideas and solutions are just not flowing, no matter how much coffee you drink. The more you 'try' to think creatively and come up with new ideas and solutions to the problems you or your clients may be facing, the more you come up against a stress induced brain fog. 

One way to combat this is to use visual notes or mind mapping at is is commonly known. Mind mapping is a process of teasing out ideas and answers to questions through visual diagrams. To begin with, we may not get any new or world changing ideas, but if we go on long enough, sometimes for up to 20 minutes, new and often surprising ideas and answers will be called forth form a part of our brain that we have been unable to access whilst 'trying' so hard to think through problems. When we use mind maps, we can disengage the logical left brain and allow our more free thinking right brain to take the reigns for a short time. 

Start with a relatively small problem, such as where and how to hold the annual staff party and prepare to be amazed at the fascinating and innovative ideas you come up with. Once you grow in confidence, begin to use mind maps for larger and more complex problems.  

To create your mind map, simply take an a4 sheet of printer paper and begin with writing your question in the centre. Create 4-5 lines coming off the centre, which you can label with the first ideas that come to mind. Then see how you can add more lines off from the main lines, with ideas that each of them generate. Prepare to be amazed by the ideas generated that your stressed out coffee filled brain just could not come up with just by 'thinking' about it!

I'd love to hear about your experiences with mind maps. Have you used one before. Did you try one out as a result of this article.  Let me know in the comments below.