How do you find a “creative problem”? Because this is a challenge when you’re first starting to think creatively, here are some tips for getting started.
Keep a list of things that bother you. Do you consistently get annoyed with something? Do you have pet peeves? Write them down. Periodically look over your list when you’re in the absorb brainset. Is there a pattern in these irritations that you could do something about? Are there procedures or changes in objects that would remove the source of annoyance? Think about the de Mestral and Alexander Fleming examples from the last chapter. Rather than letting small things like burrs or mold bother them, they became fascinated by them . . . and the rest is history.
When something goes wrong, brainstorm possible causes. Even minor things, such as breaking a glass, could have causes (for example, slippery floor, shape of glass, and so on) that might suggest a creative problem. When something goes wrong, rather than getting angry, slip into the connect brainset and generate a list of potential causes. Once you have a list of potential causes, you also have a list of creative dilemmas that could be worked on.
Think about what slows you down. Do unexpected things happen during your day that keeps you from being as productive or efficient as you might be? Those unexpected things could involve a creative problem that you could solve. Enter into the envision brainset and imagine what could be done differently to speed up whatever procedure was time-consuming.
Pay attention to your negative emotions. Are you experiencing anxiety, sadness, or frustration that others have faced? Can you express this in a creative manner—with paint, music, or pen? Don’t just be a victim of your negative moods; get into the transform brainset and use them to be creatively productive. Remember that you don’t have to have expertise to express your emotions in a way that will resonate with others.
Scan your environment regularly for things that could be changed and improved. Most of the time we are so busy in our daily tasks that we forget to problem find. Sometimes just remembering to take a few minutes and look for “problems” will yield a number of interesting possibilities. And remember that when you’re thinking creatively, “problems” are opportunities.
[Source: Your Creative Brain Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life]