Five Ways to Warm Up Your Mind for Innovation
Being a creative person doesn’t always come easy and it’s normal to often hit a dry spell. Thinking of creative and innovative solutions day-to-day is a huge part of our industrial design company but unfortunately can make you burn out quick. So what do you do to keep your ideas and brain fresh? Here are a few exercises and tips to prevent those creative juices from running dry.
We often get so busy with work and everyday life that it can be hard to fit in time to take care of yourself and your body. However, a healthy body means a healthy mind, so exercising is important. If you’re wondering just how important, several studies have shown that regular exercisers have performed better on tests of creativity. Researchers have noted that regular exercise is associated with improved divergent and convergent thinking which are the two components of creative thinking. Some of our best at our industrial design company will head to the gym during their lunch break to do just that!
Listen to ambient noise
One would think that you need silence in order to think clearly but the truth is, ambient noise can be the best sound for creative thinking. Moderate noise levels increases processing difficulty which in turn helps promote abstract processing, leading to higher creativity.
Websites and apps like Coffitivity and CODING.FM can provide you with the ambient sounds to get that industrial design job moving in the right direction. Or if you’re anything like our industrial design company, just say “Alexa, play ambient noise.”
In order to innovate in the realm of product design and engineering, you need to be curious. Ask a lot of questions, look for new ways to improve things and challenge the norm or what’s accepted.
As humans we often look at things and accept them as what they are. We rely on preconceived notions about things around us into of looking at them from a different perspective. Take a drone for example. Aerial photography used to have to be done by a plane or helicopter and was extremely costly and not accessible to most photographers. However, the drone completely changed the accessibility of aerial photography and how we use it. The top designers and engineers at our industrial design company are often the most curious – they reverse engineer products, they break things just to fix them, they learn by doing.
Write it down
In 2017, it’s natural to want to record everything on your electronic devices, however there can be benefits to using the old school pen and paper. Try jotting down everything and anything that comes to your head, even if you might think it’s dumb. Include random words, phrases, drawings, observations, etc. Innovation comes from how you associate different ideas and facts and by writing things down you can stimulate your thought processes.
Have new experiences
Staying inside your comfort zone can limit your thinking process and perception. In order to think outside of the box when it comes to innovation with product design, you have to step outside of that comfort zone you’ve built for yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to go jump out of a plane or embark on a trip around the world, you just need to try new things which will help stimulate your mind and senses. Walk a different way to work, try a new fitness class at your gym, have coffee with a LinkedIn connection you’ve never actually met. The opportunities are endless. At our industrial design company, designers and engineers are encouraged to attend industry events, design conferences, and meet with mentors. The more you know about the world of product design, the better a client can be serviced!
These are just some ways you can get your mind in tip top shape for being creative and innovative as an industrial designer. Share with us some of the strategies that work for you in the comments.
Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent
MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.
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