It’s difficult to think about innovation when you’re focusing only on your business’s survival, but new ideas are essential to weathering the COVID-19. Thankfully, you already have a powerful tool in your toolkit. Your brain is your best asset for adapting to obstacles, especially when you’re up against pandemic business pressures.
But a worried mind focused only on problems won’t guide you to new solutions. Now is the time to figure out how to best manage your mind so you are well-equipped to succeed.
1. Find Your Rhythm
One way to get your creative thinking at its peak performance is to notice and take advantage of your natural rhythms. Your mind is likely at its best in the morning, after a good night’s rest. Plan your thinking and strategy work early in the day, to take advantage of that well-rested brain.
Save routine work like responding to email or processing invoices for later in the day. Watch how your productivity and effectiveness change as you learn to work with your natural rhythms. Taking time for some self-love can help you learn when your mind is truly at its best for creative thought.
2. Ask the Right Questions
Asking “What if” can open up a world of possibilities. Complete the question with a thought that will push your ideas further, suggests Holly G. Green, keynote speaker, consultant and author with The Human Factor. Try “What if I could interpret this in another way?” Or, “What if there is more I don’t know about this?”
Don’t stop new ideas in their tracks with limiting thoughts like, “That won’t work.” Take a page from the world of improv comedy and push your ideas farther with a “Yes, and” mindset. Let your ideas flow freely without self-editing, and then follow the ones that make you the most energetic. Keeping an open mind can lead you to new connections and new ideas, as Winston-Salem artist Bryan Wehrkamp has found.
3. Fill the Well
If you spend too much time focused on a challenge and not enough time filling your brain with new experiences and ideas, you’ll find that your well of ideas dries up. And if you rely on rote thinking and how you’ve done things in the past, you may find yourself with hurdles you can’t overcome.
Creativity expert Julia Cameron, author of “The Artist’s Way,” suggests “filling the well” with regular new experiences. Make it your priority to do and read new things, and your business ideas for tackling COVID-19 will benefit. Even taking the time to read something each day can help bring a new perspective. If you really need to shake things up, get out and try something new. Maybe a visit to a socially-distant escape room could jog your thinking?
An added benefit: Taking the time now to learn your brain’s rhythm, ask better questions and fill the well will pay off long after the current public health emergency has passed – and hopefully help you think your way out of pandemic business pressures.