Great Ideas Are Looking Up

Sand for Your Inbox
October 2006

Ever wonder why great ideas seem to pop into your head at the strangest (and sometimes inopportune) times? Like when you’re… falling asleep, in the shower, or exercising?
It’s not a coincidence. These are times when your body is switched to autopilot, and your conscience mind doesn’t need to labor to perform these routine tasks. So the mind creatively wanders and processes other stuff. Processes thoughts and problems that have been churning in the ‘back of your mind.’

What if you could harness this as a skill and use it at will? That’s what this month’s Inbox Sand is about!

Great Ideas are Looking Up

It’s probably not realistic to think you’ll be able to tell your boss…

“I just finished lunch and will have some BIG ideas for you later this afternoon! I’ve got to try to fall asleep first!”

So if a mid-day nap or at-work shower isn’t practical, what else could you do to allow your mind to creatively wonder? Idea Sandbox recommends:

Cloud Gazing

Yep, that’s right. The same techniques you used when you were a kid
(i.e. looking up at clouds, inspired by their formations, and seeing shapes… ducks, bunnies and bears) can be used to arouse great ideas.

So how does it work?

The secret to this technique is to allow your mind to drift – like the clouds – versus concentrating. Take a 15 to 30-minute recess from your project. Get outside, or at least to a big window – and gaze. Toss your (problem, opportunity, challenge) out to the clouds, relax, let your mind wander, and see what forms.

I can’t guarantee every time that the new bottle design you need will reveal itself in cloud shapes. Or that forming clouds will definitely inspire the new customer communication strategy you’re seeking. However, I can assure that you’ll be a bit more relaxed, energized, and focused when you return to your desk.

I hope you give Cloud Gazing a try and see if it works for you. Good luck! And remember… only use your new Cloud Gazing powers to do good!

Read more and contribute your own ideas about Cloud Gazing at the Idea Sandbox weblog.

Take care,
Paul's First Name
Paul Williams
Official Member #5783, Cloud Appreciation Society
Idea Sandbox

Idea Sandbox • Seattle | Amsterdam