As you know at Edison Nation, we are looking for innovative ideas that are submitted to our website from you, our inventor community. A big part of coming up with innovative ideas is being creative, and the best way to improve yourself is to practice. So here’s a fun exercise to grow and expand the inventive part of your brain.
Mind-maps help you analyze and create new ideas for a topic you want to focus on by connecting lines with related thoughts. It helps keep the flow of creativity going while tracking the evolution of how you got from one insight to the next. When creating mind-maps, using different colors and images will help highlight patterns and correlations.
Creativity Challenge — Push Yourself To Think Divergently and Creatively
Actively engaging in exercises that foster divergent or unconventional thinking can encourage the generation of ideas. When you are searching for innovative solutions on your own, mind-maps can be a powerful way to come up with or to gain clarity about a topic of exploration. They are extremely versatile, and Edison Nation uses them all the time. They help you chart the recesses of your mind. The further you get from the center of the map, the more hidden ideas you can uncover.
· Tool: Mind-maps
· Participants: Solo activity
· Time: 15–60 minutes
· Supplies: Paper (the bigger the better) and pen
1. On a large blank piece of paper, write your central topic or challenge in the middle of the paper and circle it.
2. Make connections to the main topic and write them down, branching out from the center as you go. Ask yourself, “What else can I add to the map that is related to this theme?” Draw a rectangle or oval around any ideas that will lead to a new chapter to emphasize that it will be a hub.
3. Use each connection to spur new ideas.
4. Keep going! You are done when the page fills up or your ideas dwindle. If you are feeling warmed up but not finished, try to reframe the central topic and do another mindmap to get a fresh perspective. If you feel you’ve done enough, think about which ideas you would like to move forward with. Each challenge presents an opportunity for innovation.
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