I use self-brainstorming techniques often to find solutions to challenges or to get ideas for any number of things. If you are reading this blog, you know there are benefits to brainstorming. You've probably come across it as a participant of workshop, or at a strategic board meeting, or at your job where you need to come up with creative solutions. Or, like I did, during my college years. You've likely brainstormed with small groups of people.
But what if it's just you, and you want to get your creative juices going! Here are some suggestions.
Do word association. Think of your central idea or problem. Write down a few words that you immediately associate with those ideas. Look over these new words and write down any words that you think are related. As the words pop into your head, write them down, no matter how silly or strange they might seem.
For example, if you are brainstorming values and beliefs of a public library you may think literacy, physical books, or technology. The word literacy might make you think of children, reading, or education. Continue writing down associated words until you have run out of time.
Freewrite. Sit down for fifteen minutes and write down whatever comes across your mind. Do not let your pen leave the page until the fifteen minutes are up. This will help you start processing ideas. While you might begin with no good thoughts, you may find you have stumbled upon some new ideas by the time your fifteen minutes are up.
Draft a list. Create a list of every idea that comes through your head. You can write this on a piece of paper or on a bulleted list in a word document or other tool. Include ideas that you think are silly or stupid. Keep going until you have at least fifteen or twenty ideas. Once you are done, you can go back over your list and cross out the ideas you don’t like.
These ideas are helpful if you are a solopreneur or creative and you need to work through ideas quickly, easily, and by yourself!