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It’s often said that in order to become better at solving problems or be more creative, we have to be willing to think outside the box.

What this means is sometimes our usual way of thinking may not get us to the result or solution we are looking for, so we have to do things we don’t normally do.

Thinking “inside the box” refers to a predictable way of evaluating things. When we are thinking inside the box, it can stifle our creativity, delay the completion of tasks or projects, and fail to generate new ideas. If you want to think outside the box, these tips will help.

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Read publications from other industries

A good way to generate new ideas is to find out what’s the latest news in other industries. Oftentimes, those in other industries or professions may have had unique challenges and it’s always interesting to find out how they dealt and overcame those challenges.

Enroll in a class that’s not related to anything you do

In order to gain new perspectives, we have to generate new experiences. For example, if someone has a business challenge, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be thinking about enrolling in a cooking class or taking music lessons. However, being in those environments can trigger new thoughts, which can lead to solutions to their challenges.

Ask someone for advice that you wouldn’t normally

A common mistake people make is thinking that no one will or can understand what they’re going through. There’s a good chance that no matter what we’re facing, someone has already been through something similar. Sometimes asking a young child or teenager can provide new, unexpected ideas, which can end up being extremely beneficial to us.

Be spontaneous and trust your intuition

Creativity is always available to us if we put ourselves in a position to become aware of it. Rather than doing things the way we would normally do, sometimes it’s good to break up the routine and just follow what we’re inspired to do. Listening to the quiet voice within can often lead to unexpected but pleasant surprises.

Volunteer your time or expertise

It’s often said that those who give the most, gain the most. Whenever we’re willing to help those who may not be as fortunate as us, something magical always happens. It can be in a conversation with someone or it can be something we see as we’re helping out. Volunteering will also connect us to people who can provide ideas that can spark our creativity.

Read a novel in an unfamiliar genre

Reading is one of the great mental stimulators in our society, but it’s easy to get into a rut. Try reading something you’d never have touched otherwise – if you read literary fiction, try a mystery or science fiction novel; if you read a lot of hard-boiled detective novels, try a romance; and so on. Pay attention not only to the story but to the particular problems the author has to deal with. For instance, how does the fantasy author bypass your normal skepticism about magic and pull you into their story?

By Damilola Faustino

Read also: #ActingOutLife – Only Creatives Will Get This

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