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4 Pocket-Sized Tools to Help You Generate Killer Ideas Any Time, Anywhere

4 Pocket-Sized Tools to Help You Generate Killer Ideas Any Time, Anywhere

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    The ability to generate creative, profitable, problem-solving ideas is growing in importance, especially with the global economy stuck in the doldrums. But how can you be creative on demand? Here are four pocket-sized card decks that you can take anywhere – to your next team meeting or to a quiet park where you can brainstorm free from distractions – to help you generate your next breakthrough idea:

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      KnowBrainer: If you are looking for a creativity tool that is powerful, portable, and low tech, then you ought to check out the KnowBrainer. This tool does an excellent job of leveraging the mind’s capabilities of association to a major advantage. Developer Gerald Haman has spent years amassing and assessing key words and questions that are the most effective at generating ideas, and he has incorporated them (along with evocative images and quotes) into this colorful, fun-to-use flip card deck. It contains sections that are designed to help you to:
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      • Clearly define your challenge and investigate your needs,
      • Create ideas,
      • Evaluate them using a number of criteria, and
      • Put them into action

      The KnowBrainer is built around Haman’s four-phase Accelerated Innovation process. It incorporates keywords, questions and concepts from the world’s leading new product design firms, Six Sigma quality tools, new books on marketing and the latest research on innovation process tools, is now in its third version. When you first see it, you may be tempted to dismiss the KnowBrainer as a simple card deck, but don’t let its low-tech “interface” fool you. This is one powerful and easy to use idea-generation tool!

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        Free the Genie: Free the Genie is a new deck of 55 creative thinking cards that you can think of as your “personal genie” — a powerful brainstorming assistant that is available to you anytime, anywhere to help you unstick your thinking. This ideation tool is the brainchild of Mitch Ditkoff, founder of the Idea Champions innovation consulting firm. Free the Genie is designed to provide a spark or catalyst to help its users to find their great ideas. Each card contains a principle of breakthrough thinking (examples include “take some risks,” “suspend logic,” and “leverage your strengths”) and some questions or challenges related to each principle.
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          Innovative Whack Pack: The Innovative Whack Pack takes the principles from Roger von Oech’s book Expect the Unexpected or You Won’t Find It, which explores some of the provocative epigrams of Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher who the author calls the world’s first creativity teacher. He uses these enigmatic sayings as springboards to fuel your imagination and help you to break out of old, limiting ways of thinking. This card deck contains 60 cards. Each one contains a thought-provoking insight about innovation from Heraclitus on one side, along with a whimsical illustration designed to help “whack” your thinking out of its well-worn grooves. The other side of the card contains a creativity strategy inspired by the insight or principle. At the end of these provoking vignettes, von Oech poses several questions to stimulate your creative thinking. This tool and its predecessor, the Creative Whack Pack, are among the best-selling creativity tools ever invented.

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            Inner Vision Deck: The Inner Vision Deck is a card deck of 69 keywords and phrases that can be used for creative problem solving. Designed by Rory O’Connor, a creativity and creative problem-solving trainer, this new brainstorming tool arose out of his need to teach his clients a “gentle” (non-intimidating) approach to developing ideas and solutions.
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            Why invest in brainstorming tools like these? They serve as catalysts, jump-starting your brain’s creative juices. Some brainstorming tools ask you questions, while others rely on a variety of proven associative or lateral thinking techniques. The bottom line is that these diminutive tools get results, and because of their compact size, you can use them just about anywhere. What’s more, their learning curve is quite low; in other words, you can begin generating profitable ideas with them almost immediately.

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            How to Cultivate an “Insight Outlook” The Idea Generator Brings Brainstorming to the iPhone and iPod Touch Platform 4 Pocket-Sized Tools to Help You Generate Killer Ideas Any Time, Anywhere

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            Published on July 15, 2019

            10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today

            10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today

            Habits are an important part of the direction you take your life, and — as I’ll share with you shortly — there are certain daily habits you can adopt right away that are guaranteed to improve your life.

            Think back to when you were just six or seven years old…

            At that age you probably didn’t have many habits. But, as the years went by, you picked up more and more good and bad habits.

            You may not have thought about it before, but habit forming never really stops.

            That’s why it’s never too late to change your habits and transform your life.

            So, if you feel burdened by your bad habits, start kicking them into shape by replacing them with these 10 positive, life-changing strategies:

            1. Go to Bed a Little Earlier and Wake up Earlier 

            Starting tonight, get yourself to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. And, then make sure you get up tomorrow morning 30 minutes earlier, too. This small change can have a BIG impact on your day. 

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            Instead of furiously rushing in the morning to get ready for work, the extra time will give you a golden opportunity to start your day off on the right note. You can drink a smoothie while sitting on your porch, spend 10 minutes exercising and stretching, and still have time to read a few pages of an inspiring book.

            2. Be Grateful for the Good Things in Your Life 

            Setbacks and obstacles are inevitable in life. But, with a positive mindset, you’ll be able to overcome most of these. And, when you do, you’ll boost your self-confidence. 

            This is something you can definitely be grateful for. 

            However, if worst-case scenarios are playing out in your life, then sometimes, to stay strong, you’ll need to keep your mind on the good things that are happening to you. For example, your relationship with your partner might be crumbling, but your career is continuously getting stronger. It’d be easy to feel downtrodden and miserable about your relationship problems —  but, it would be much healthier to keep your mind and gratitude on these things that are going well, such as your career.

            3. Drink Water All Day Every Day 

            I’m sure you’ve heard the advice of drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, but are you following that advice? If not, you’re robbing your body and mind of essential hydration. 

            With the right amount of water intake a day, you’ll be amazed how good you feel — and how good you look!

            4. Take 15 Minutes to Set Goals for the Day, and Then Tackle Them One by One 

            This strategy will put your life into a new stratosphere! And, it’s very simple to do. 

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            Simply spend 15 minutes in the morning (either at home or at work) planning what you need and want to achieve during the rest of the day. Once you’ve listed your tasks, the next step is to put them into order of priority. 

            For instance, you have three things to do: catch up with your emails, write a project update, and prepare a briefing for your CEO. It’s best if you put these in order of importance. In this example, your emails can probably wait until you’ve created your CEO brief and updated your project documentation.

            5. Turn Off Your Cell Phone (or Put it on Airplane Mode) When You’re Focusing 

            A 2012 study found that even looking at a cell phone or feeling it vibrate in your pocket can significantly distract focus and reduce your ability to complete complex tasks.[1]

            It’s no surprise really, as our thoughts are subconsciously drawn towards checking our phones when they’re switched on. It’s a bad habit — but one that most of us have. However, when you need 100% focus (like I do when writing my articles), then switching your phone off, or at least putting it into airplane mode, will free your mind and supercharge your focus. Try it and see!

            6. Walk as Much as You Can 

            Have you noticed that most people’s lives are sedentary? They drive to work, sit in front of a screen all day, then drive home and binge on the latest Netflix series. It’s no wonder there’s a growing epidemic of obesity and mental health issues. 

            Our bodies are made to move — so we should move them! This can be as simple as walking up the stairs to your office instead of taking the elevator, and going out for a walk around the block at lunchtime. In the evening, instead of arriving home and crashing on the sofa; spend 20 to 30 minutes walking around your block.

            When you make these things a habit, you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel. You’ll have less stress — and more energy.

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            7. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

            How often do you stop, think and appreciate the “here and now”? I’m guessing not very often. But, I understand why. Modern life is demanding and fast-paced. There’s precious little time to appreciate the small things. 

            But, if you want to live a healthy and happy life, you must break out of this trap. You can do this by allocating 15 to 30 minutes each day for mindful meditation. This could be in a park, in your garden, or even in your lounge. The trick is to focus 100% on your surroundings. 

            For example, if you’re outside, watch how the leaves on the trees blow around in the wind. By keeping your focus on this movement, you’ll clear your mind from your usual stresses and strains. This will give you brain a much-needed break. And, as well as improving your mental health; you’ll find your creativity gets a boost, too.

            8. Ask for Help When You Need It 

            No one can know or do everything. Which is why you shouldn’t be embarrassed to delegate tasks to others when needed, ask questions when you don’t have the answers, and work with partners and colleagues to clarify intentions. 

            When I first set up Lifehack, I tried to do everything myself: blog writing, website creation, marketing, financial planning, etc. However, I quickly learned that it was much better to hire some help. Not only did this inject some fresh ideas and inspiration into Lifehack — it also made the whole operation way more enjoyable!

            9. Practice Self Care 

            Are you looking after yourself as well as you should? If not, then take steps to improve your diet, exercise more, and to speak to yourself with encouraging words and thoughts. 

            The latter suggestion is often overlooked. But how you speak to yourself determines how you feel, what you believe, and what you achieve.

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            10. Embrace Learning 

            You cannot transform your life without learning something new. That’s because the process of change forces you to adapt. But, many people stop learning as they get older, as they find the learning process boring and bothersome. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It can be fun and rewarding. 

            Whether you decide to learn to play guitar or study the basics of accounting — embrace learning, and begin changing your world for the better.

            I’m sure you’ll agree that these 10 strategies are simple enough for you to start putting them into action in your life. (I suggest you begin today!) 

            Nevertheless, you’ll probably need to use some extra willpower for the first 30 days or so, as this is the typical length of time it takes to create a new habit. After that, these strategies will be part of your day-to-day life, and you won’t need to think about having to do them. In other words, they’ll have become habitual actions.

            If you need any further encouragement to get started with the 10 strategies, then consider this:

            Even just adopting one of the strategies can turn the tide in your favor. But, when you implement all 10, you’ll create an unstoppable trend towards success, health and happiness.

            So start making your life better — today!

            Featured photo credit: Javier Garcia via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Deborah R. Tindell and Robert W. Bohlander, Wilkes University: The Use and Abuse of Cell Phones and Text Messaging in the Classroom: A Survey of College Students

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