Change up – when brainstorming gets stale, work life balance, blah…JUMP! keep Jumping!
There is nothing that seems to bring you down worse in life as when you hit a low spot, slump, non-inspired patch of life when your creative juices seem to walk away from you. In some respects it is like prayer and meditations – some days it goes well, then others, you struggle and seem to go nowhere fast.
The past few months have seen some really amazing ideas form and take shape. Yet, when you hit a few days where you seem to sit and work all day and accomplish nothing, your mind will start to ask, “what is going on?”
Usually it is nothing. So you pull out your repertoire of ways to stimulate, change, improve and motivate your mind to get in synch with creation.
Sometimes, all of them fail. Even if you wait.
I might blame this all on having instant coffee here the past few days, but that would not be a true statement. It doesn’t matter what coffee, temperature, room, space or element I am in – while it helps creativity, and it does or should not influence your ability to create
Yesterday I read about brainstorming in business, and it reminded me of how mind maps have been bastardized, or big data will be abused to quantify what one wants, versus the reality of what is possible. Many executives felt that brainstorming was a waste of time.
I thought about what they were saying, and I have to agree. It is like shooting a gun. If you don’t’ have a clue what you are doing with it, you will never hit the target. You have better odds at shooting yourself in the foot.
The bigger issue with the management was how they invited their team into brainstorm sessions.
Maybe I forgot to mention that brainstorming is really ideally a one-person job that might have up to 7 people maximum in a team to do well. You can have as many teams as you want, but try taking your 30 people group and making 10 or 6 teams of 3-5 people. Let them all go nuts and then collapse back into one group, let everyone hash the entire element and then go back to small teams.
Of course brainstorming will not work. Like my inability to really grasp a new language easily, there are some minds that are wired to seem to be able to fire off ideas better than most. It doesn’t mean everyone can’t do the task. It just means some will do it faster, more consistent and easier than others.
What does this all have to do with slumps in brainstorming? Not much. I am typing while several ideas that were going so well a few months/weeks ago, seem to be moving like a hippo in a pool of quicksand.
Then I went and tested that formula on the law of dilution – and for the first time in many attempts actually had the anomaly happen where the same result didn’t happen. The difference? I seemed to have been put inside another country and latched onto a different social norm. I don’t know what is going on inside the USA, but has social norms gotten so out of whack?
A day like today is exactly why you want your prototyping center right next to you. When your brain is like this, usually you can go into the tool area and start fabricating things. After the discussion on Sunday with the Augmanity group – I realize how different and interesting the Colorado space will be. I pray it all happens soon and the immigration stuff with my wife gets settled.
I just marvel that one can take everything off the grid, still be connected to the planet, grow your own everything, and put one of the more interesting high tech sensor/AI/robo lab for humans in the middle of nowhere.
Yes, I will still have to drive the road to go pick up the luxury of good coffee beans, but that is a small inconvenience for creating your own work life balance
WORK LIFE BALANCE – truth be told, I don’t’ really know what that term is. It seems to really excel in life, either you are one of the 2/3 born into privilege that have the luxury to do whatever you wish. Or you are the 1/3 that has to scratch and claw to start and work your way up to be able to do whatever you want.
Having a work life balance is important. Particularly if you have kids. I always joke that if you have kids, your “self” pretty much comes in second. As a parent you have to raise the child, not the child raise the parent. I always disagreed with my friend in a horrific marriage’s decision to stay with his wife, “having a bad mother is better than not having a mother.” Was something I looked at and wondered, “is it better to live a lie for the sake of the kid? Than it is to teach the kid about the reality of life?”
In my own life, I used to live a lie and think people cared about the image one projected. Today, I really found that to be a waste of time and effort. It is almost like I go the no logo path and avoid the old “social” network events because after you do enough of them – they just get boring.
Maybe that is what happens to your work life balance when you really find your passion. You start to live your life and find it moving out into all parts of your life.
With modern technology, you can be on 24/7. From personal experience and mounds of research on sleep deprivation – you probably might find it best to get proper rest, exercise, meditation and sleep balance – yet, you will find yourself swimming in a stream of constant creation, ideas, and ways to help solve peoples problems. Even your own.
That is the beauty of taking the time to keep the discipline when you hit a slump, wall, or down moment. Just keep doing what you were doing, all life is like a wave, there are ebb and flow to it.
I also have the knowledge that the longest dude brainstorm span in my life was 28 days. You had a team of four working during that period, and we really sucked at anything for about a month.
Then my accident, one person threw something at another, another had something in their hand, the third picked up the thrown item…I remember saying, “hold the thing like this.”
They say there was a scene with the Martian cranes game in the original toy story where the creators were stumbled with how to make it work. While I forget the specifics, someone said a light bulb went off at the same time among some of the most creative minds in the room and you had an explosion of funny humor that eventually made it into the movie.
After 28 days, the four of us sat there for a few hours, laughing hysterically at how a toy character creation came about, walked, talked, and had the concepts, TV pilot idea and television show series all down in that time.
Those days are rare, but the knowledge of how and when it happens versus not having the experience is what makes one stay calm in times when the creative flow is not firing on all cylinders.
Now I will go back…and try firing out ideas again. Fine tune this, change that. Modify this.
Then I dream about doing the same thing on top of a mountain in Colorado and wonder how nature will now inspire me, now that I don’t need to see people anymore since they have become less interesting was they gaze into their mobile devices at the cafes – oblivious to the other people seeming to gaze into their mobiles right next to them.