Sand For Your Inbox

Ideas to help you think and work more creatively

Sand for Your Inbox - August 2006


Here's a scoop of Inbox Sand for August. I hope you are enjoying your summer and these ideas inspire you!

Take Your Inner Child to Work Day

When it comes to curiosity and creative problem solving, kids have the process down pat. They are expert problem solvers. (Only a kid can transform an oversized box into a lunar lander!) Having this imagination around the office can be pretty handy. But how can you make this happen without breaking child labor laws or getting into trouble with school truancy officers? Bring your Inner Child to work.

How are you supposed to find this kid? At the Idea Sandbox Institute we’ve discovered the process to reaching your Inner Child in three simple steps...

  • Step 1: Determine the age of your Inner Child.
  • Step 2: Behave like that Inner Child.
  • Step 3: Don’t let Them out of your sight.

Step 1 - Determine the age of your Inner Child

First figure out how old your Inner Child is… The scientific method is to take the first and second digits of your calendar age and add them together… I’m 37, 3+7=10. My Inner Child is ten years old! How old is yours?

Step 2 - Behave like that Inner Child

Now that you know how old your Inner Child is… You need to begin thinking that age. Do you remember how free from responsibility you were? How bold you were? As adults, stress and self-consciousness quash creativity.

Recall the kinds of questions you asked at 5, 8, or 10 years old? You were filled with wonder, exploration, and curiosity! You constantly asked… What if? I don’t get it. I wonder why…? Why not? How come? Ask those questions again... today.

Play! Keep a stash of Play-Doh or Silly Putty in your purse or desktop drawer. (The scent of these alone will transport you instantly to childhood). Get away from your work for 15 minutes. Have recess. Play outside.

Step 3 - Don’t let Them out of your sight

Hang out with your Inner Child. Go to lunch together. Take them to your next meeting with wide-eyed curiosity. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find the fun.

Your Inner Child plays well at home, too. Your significant other will be pleasantly surprised when you bring home finger painting supplies to create original works of art for the fridge instead of watching another episode of reality TV.

Get big ideas being little...

That’s all there is to it. Start now. This instant. You’re no longer 42, you’re now 6. Birth certificate says you’re 27? Naw, be 9 years old. Cut the crust off of your peanut butter and jelly sandwich and get big ideas being little!

Thanks, If you need inspiration, or have some tips of your own, continue this conversation at the Idea Sandbox blog.

Take care,

Paul's First Name


Paul Williams
professional problem solver
Idea Sandbox

Idea Sandbox • Seattle | Amsterdam