How To Be More Innovative: Build the idea muscle!

Innovative. The sexiest word we love to put onto our Cvs/resumes. It just looks and sounds ….good!

But can we really build and improve this whole innovative skill we adore so much.

Can we fine tune it so its ready to use anytime we want? To have it resting in our holster ready to fire away when needed?

You can.

James Altucher has a great way of achieving this which he reveals in his latest book “Choose Yourself.” I bought his book purely from reading his “idea muscle exercise” on a guest post he wrote.

It worked for me and if you do the daily routine it will work for you. Guaranteed.

Its so simple, yet so effective.

Heres what you do;

Write 10 ideas. Daily.

Thats it.

And I mean any kind of idea you can think of. And list them.

It could be 10 business ideas.

10 iphone app ideas.

10 ways to surprise your lover.

10 ways you can trick your friends into thinking you are half Lithuanian?

Really anything you can think of. Mix and match the themes. Go crazy. The most important thing is making sure you get 10 of them!

Some days will be harder than others. The main goal is to (and this is how James Altucher puts it) make your brain SWEAT! Trust me, if you force yourself to get to 10 everyday, it will do just that. I often get stuck at idea number 7. The last 3 I really have to force and push myself to complete. But more often then not, the last 3 are the best! Pretty cool huh?

This exercise will build your creativity, your imagination and your idea muscle.

I have an idea packet. Its a little plastic bag (the kind you’d expect to find drugs in) which I carry with me wherever I go. Its filled with dozens and dozens of folded bits of paper which are filled with ideas. As often as I can I go through the packet and review the ideas. Some are really just terrible. Embarrassingly bad. But there will be a few that I’ll pick out and build upon. I know that I would of have never arrived at these good ideas if I hadn’t gone through the bad ones.

The real hidden advantage to adding this excersise to your daily habits is that it really does build your idea muscle – making you more innovative.

One day you’ll be put on the spot by your boss who is asking for a suggestion ,or some sort of creative input and you will find your brain naturally racing towards just that! A creative idea. It would have sweated so much in training that now creating those ideas when they are needed seems so easy.

I know it sounds odd and almost pointless, but by doing your daily ten you are making your brain an idea machine! Plus the best part is you can make the lists about anything you want. If you need to improve your workspace, write 10 ways how you can do exactly that.

So give it a go.

Take out a bit of paper and write!

You’ll be surprised at what comes out.

P.S – remember that ideation without execution is delusion. So get your ideas out there into the world!