Brainstorming Busyness

How much of what you do in your daily routine involves brainstorming? After attending CPSI (see CPSI post) and now that I'm in the throes of writing the COMPASS Playbook, I see endless opportunities to integrate a dose of brainstorming into every day.

There are numerous books on brainstorming, even some creative spinoffs like Dave Gray's Gamestorming. But brainstorming is simple and can be done in groups or on your own. Here's one quick way to brainstorm a common experience we all seem to share these days: 

"I'm too busy. There's just not enough time to do the things I want to do."

Here's how you can brainstorm on that topic (or any other topic that's a concern for you right now):

  1. Take out a sheet of paper or a fresh page in your journal
  2. Write the issue as a question, phrased like this: "How might I find more time to do the things I want?"
  3. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write as many ideas you have on creating more time for yourself. Be creative, be inventive, approach it as a five-year-old would with abandon and whimsy. Write fast, write short ideas that capture the gist and move on to the next idea. Suspend judgement during this process.
  4. When you're finished, stop and take a quick read of your list. Put a check next to the top three that resonate with you, that you feel most strongly about. Go with your gut.
  5. Take each one and explore ways you can make each one possible. Weigh them against cost, effectiveness, and ease of implementation. Or, create your own measurements. This helps you select the best idea.
  6. The clear winner will be obvious, and you should feel pretty excited about it. That's typically the best indicator, because you'll be more likely to implement and sustain it.

There you have it: a solution to creating more time for yourself. This exercise can work on just about anything, and you can tweak the steps to fit your criteria. Make this brainstorming exercise yours. Trust your mind to come to the right conclusion for you, and have it include what's important to you. And above all, have fun with it! Let your mind be creative and take the time to just explore how many great ideas you can actually come up with. You'll be surprised!