Last night I was sitting in my living room while I thought about questions for a questionary about Social Media Usage in companies, how they want to use it in the future and what, in their opinion, is missing in the wide range of communication tools.
The problem was: I had no clue how to start and how to order the questions. It felt like my brain was empty, and I knew that I would need to much to get good results. That was really disappointing, because I wanted to finish at least a small overview, so I could follow up later on the next day.
So I stopped, switched off my Mac, put in some old Teddy Pendergrass songs and started to relax, think about daily issues. And suddenly I had this first question which would open the questionary. From that moment I needed 30 minutes to finish the questionary without even having a break.
I suddenly understood, that outstanding ideas do not come to your mind when you want them to, but mostly in relaxing periods and calm moments while sitting in the car or enjoying a glass of wine in the evening.
Let us turn this issues to Social Media:
We know, that activities, which should raise attention to a company or product have to be creative and outstanding (like this one from the musician Calvin Harris or the well known mixer from Blendtec. Blendtec has 36k friends on facebook, 3500 Twitter Followers, 115.846.069 views on Youtube!!!!)
We also know (because we learned so in school, in college and university) that if we want to be creative (e.g. create a new way to attract peoples attention in Social Networks, write a blog article etc.) we do brainstorming, we draw crazy mindmaps and search what others have already done (internet) to get inspired. We do this for quite some time and we all know dozens of examples where the results were hardly convincing.
Here is my advice: take your time (e.g. 45 min) and brainstorm, mindmap and write lists as many as you are able to (you will mostly use your right part of the brain.) And then stop your creative work.
Go and have a cup of coffee, read the newspapers or call your best friend and have a chitchat. To sum up: work on less artistic things (maybe you can finish your accountings). Doing so your subconscious (the limbic brain) will still work and be creative (on the right side of your brain) while you clear your mind (doing accountings) and use the left side.
The secret is quiet unspectacular: the limbic brain has access to a vast amount of information, experiences and memories we would have never thought about while do "hard thinking" and brainstorming. The limbic brain works better and brings up the best ideas in times of rest or less creative work.
The break in between which distracts you from your main goal, is extremly providing fast results especially in terms of creativity, imagination und conception.
I am sure, that this does not sound that new to you, but sometimes it needs a little hitch to get reminded to use things actively.