(1) THE ALL-AT-ONCE TRAP
When tackling a big problem or seizing a juicy opportunity, we instinctively try to solve the challenge with one, gigantic, perfect idea. Problem is, those silver bullets can be elusive and we end up freezing or quitting when perfection fails to magically appear. Instead of the all-at-once approach, try discovering a handful of small ideas that may help the problem rather than solve it completely. Twenty-eight small, helpful, low-risk, easy-to-implement ideas that each contribute positive momentum is a far better outcome than quitting in frustration when the end-all-be-all solution never materializes.
(2) CHANGE THE INPUTS
In software engineering, they say you need to change the inputs in order to change the outputs. The same is true for our creativity. To get more creative, try guzzling the creative work of others on a daily basis. Spend a minute or two watching a musical performance on YouTube, staring at a piece of art, or reading a poem out loud. Read a provocative short story or watch a standup comedian test out a new bit. Try to counterbalance the constant barrage of negativity and worry by ingesting some creative brilliance. When you change the inputs, the outputs will improve.
(3) CREATIVE GARDENING
An award-winning garden comes to life with the right mix of adding and subtracting. Add fertilizer. Subtract weeds. Add sunlight and water. Subtract small animals that love munching on pretty flowers. To boost innovation, try thinking like a gardener. Add fresh perspectives. Subtract groupthink. Add new ideation techniques. Subtract fear and judgement. Add color and stimulation. Subtract beige wallpaper and bad fluorescent lighting. Just like a garden, your creativity will flourish or wilt based on the adds and subtracts.