Train Your Brain to Be an Idea Machine

We’ve all heard how bad multitasking is for you, and I personally believe in mindfulness above all else, HOWEVER there are times that multitasking can be incredibly helpful. How many times have we had our best ideas ever while showering, driving, folding laundry? (Wait, is the laundry thing just me?)

Using technology to make those times productive isn’t necessary, but it is available. I drive in silence – I’m an introvert and need quiet to rebuild my energy between talking sessions – and sometimes just recharging is all I feel like doing. But other times, I’ve gotten in the car and a thought came to mind. A really good thought. A whole blog post about multitasking properly, maybe. So when I pulled into the drive through, I turned on my Notes app and started recording an audio note. This is that note…edited heavily, but still, it was dictated and took very little extra time.

This one trick is how I can churn out content for clients, ourselves and our various projects, and keep the creative muscle from atrophying. Do all of my brilliant ideas make it to the blog? Oh heck no. I have more bad ideas per day than probably anyone I know – but I have a constant stream of ideas. And those ideas come from my habit of recording my ideas constantly.

marketing tips and tricks from the expertsWhile I don’t believe in multitasking when it means you’re dividing your focus between two (or 10) important tasks, I do believe in using every waking moment to its fullest potential! That might sound scary and machine-like, but there’s a catch. I only capture ideas during the times where my brain is generating an idea anyway. If I need to rest at 2:37pm on a Tuesday, I rest. That is the very definition of using that time to its potential.

When I’m doing something using my automated brain, and my creative spark is happening at me anyway, it’s just about capturing the genius, not forcing it. I never get into the car with the plan to have 8 genius ideas…I just make sure that if I do, I have the ability not to lose them to the ether. And by capturing them habitually, I’ve actually started generating them at a frequency that is kind of amazing, even to me. It’s like since my brain doesn’t think it’s futile, it gives me more of the good stuff more often.

A few times this works for me:

  • Blog writing while:
    • driving (PSA – please use hands-free or pull over to get the app open. We all share the road.)
    • straightening hair
    • folding laundry
    • in the shower (I use powdered lipstick that washes off the surround, but you can still buy bath crayons for kids and use them too!)
    • scrolling through social media
  • Optimizing minutes instead of focusing on hours
    • When there’s 5 minutes between meetings or I get somewhere early, I sit in the car and let me mind wander and play instead of opening up social media (although I have been known to be inspired by social media as well, see above.)
    • When I have finished a task and am waiting to reset/reorient to the new task ahead of me, I let my mind wander again, and often it gives me new thoughts to jot down and flesh out later
    • When I’m frustrated with the task at hand and everything sucks and I suck and nothing will ever be good again, I let my mind wander, or be still, or just look at clouds.

The only two rules I’ve found so far are: 1) don’t go in with expectations, your brain knows what you’re doing and 2) record everything! Keep something to write with or record with everywhere you are. Get creative, and see what magic happens!