We may never know exactly where creativity comes from, but you can create the conditions that invite it. One way to spur creative thinking is to spend some time considering the problem you’re trying to solve — and then walk away from it. Letting the problem marinate gives your brain a chance to draw connections and sort through possible paths forward. To help this process, keep a journal of ideas that inspire you, whether they’re from books, conference sessions, or random conversations. The goal is to have something to refer to when you need a mental jolt. You can also get inspiration by doing things that don’t interest you. Does a magazine have an article on a topic that bores you? Read it anyway. You never know where your next big idea will come from. Lastly, when inspiration hits, stop what you’re doing and get to work. Don’t let those moments go by without capturing your ideas on paper.

Adapted from “How to Be Creative on Demand,” by Joseph Grenny

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