How to Not Run Out of Good Ideas
I didn’t order my son’s gift early enough. All he wanted for his 13th birthday was the new Nintendo Switch. By the time I went to buy it, it was sold out. His birthday came and went and the stores have continued to be sold out. The same week I was dealing with this issue, I read a book called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. There was a story of him going every January to buy a toy that he had promised his son, because they were sold out around Christmas. He kept meeting his neighbor there, which seemed to be a coincidence. The neighbor who had worked at a toy company told him that the toy companies ran out on purpose. They want people to walk into the store to purchase something when it is sold out and then come back a month later to buy the item they promised their kids. It is a profitable trick that works very well on consumers – even people who seem to know what is going on.
Now, you might ask, what does this have to do with good ideas? I was able to use this story to explain to my son what was going on so he wouldn’t be so disappointed. We were both taught a lesson in marketing influence that was on purpose. The funny thing is that there is a very popular game that is driving people to get the Nintendo Switch. Somehow, they don’t seem to be running out of the game.
Therefore, we need to be continually learning and coming up with new ideas to help us be influential at work and at home. In my business, I need to come up with good ideas that are financially related. Since my business is to help business owners on any line item of the Income Statement, an idea can come in many different areas for me to do an excellent job. Here are some ways that help me stay at the top of my game.
Reading nonfiction books is a very inexpensive and relatively easy way to come up with good ideas. I have only read a few chapters of the Influence book and have come up with multiple ideas to help my clients. Today, it is easier than ever to read. You can use Audible to get an audio book and listen in your car. My favorite lately is to use the Kindle App to get the e-book and add the audio narration. This allows me to listen to it while working out and/or read it.
2. Exercise Intensely f0r 20 Minutes
Secondly, some of my best ideas have come while exercising on the treadmill and running uphill for 2 miles. I don’t know the scientific reasoning, but this intense workout seems to generate more focus, creativity, and idea generation. I would say that it does make a difference to workout with effort. Merely walking on the treadmill does not seem to be as effective.
3. Meet Key Business Contacts for Lunch
Thirdly, I have to do a certain amount of business development. I find that meeting people for lunch not only helps break up my day, but it is valuable for many reasons. One area that I didn’t foresee are the ideas that are generated from talking through issues with key business contacts. We both provide our own insight into each other’s businesses and challenges as quite valuable to each other.
4. Focus Time
We live in a world of many distractions. It is difficult to think straight and do anything with excellence if we are getting distracted every 7 minutes. I find that booking time in the morning to focus is very helpful. Listening to music is also helpful in blocking sounds. Try FocusatWill, which has different music without words proven to help with focus.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Finally, getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night is essential for performing at our best. I know this is difficult. I have slipped and gotten less than 7 hours a number of times. Each time I did this, the level of productivity, creativity, and idea generation decreased significantly. The amount of time saved through efficiency and good ideas will usually outweigh the additional time gained through less sleep.
One more area to note is that a good idea could be many different things. It could be what to say in a certain situation or a way to do something faster. It could be something to do with your spouse or family. Of course, it could also be a revenue idea to grow your business.
Through a combination of reading, intense exercise, meeting people, focusing, and getting enough sleep, you will experience a growth in ideas that will help you be more successful.