Where Science Meets Muse

Archive for April 16th, 2009

The Old Switcheroo! – Changing Routines to Help Creativity

Posted by Plish on April 16, 2009


The garbage man and the recycling guys came and went but this time they switched positions of the bins.

I’m an adult, I can see the difference so I figured I’d just leave them there, no big deal.

I was wrong.  It was a big deal.

Day One: Caught myself at the last second as I almost put garbage in the recycling bin and vice-versa.  It was good that I almost did this, it would prepare me for tomorrow.

Day Two: It didn’t.  This time I actually put garbage into the recycling bin and vice-versa.   So I tipped the garbage bin and pulled out the recyclables and swapped them with the garbage bag from the recycling bin.

Days Three through Seven: Lesson Learned.

We are amazing creatures of habit.  We have a tendency to stick with routines, to do what works.

This is a major issue if we’re solving problems.  If we keep doing things the same way, we seldom will come up with new solutions.

What can we do to keep ourselves sharp?

Try one or more of the following:

  1. Take a different way to work  or home from work.  (I’ve done this before during times when I knew I was stuck in a thinking rut.)
  2. Switch the order in which you put your shoes on.
  3. We all have a stronger side and weak side.  Use the weak hand, the weak foot, etc., when doing a task.
  4. If you have certain daily routines, try changing the order of tasks.
  5. Last but not least, switch the position of your garbage and recycling bins.

You’d be surprised how simple changes can spur new thinking by forcing your body and mind to interact with the world in new ways!

What ways would you recommend to break routine?


Posted in Brain Stimulation Tools, Creative Thinking Techniques, idea generation, Lateral Thinking, problem solving | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

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