That thing about thinking outside the box may seem like a tired cliché. But what it stands for never gets old. It is a good reminder of the importance of finding new ways to see and explore things in many different ways. While the idea may seem easy to grasp, doing it can be a challenge at times. You have to tap into your creativity to practice out of the box thinking. Here are some ideas on how to view and ponder about things outside the proverbial box.
1. Conscious switch or change of perspective. Changing your perspectives, literally and figuratively, allow you to see the different angles of a problem. See the flipside of whatever idea or work you are focusing on. Approach a problem from a different angle and imagine how you would solve it based on your changed perspective.
2. Don’t discard the unfamiliar. Learn things unrelated to your job or expertise. Read a wide array of books and materials on topics that are unfamiliar to you. This can help spark associations, connections, ideas, and inspirations that may prove useful when you need to find ways to think outside the box.
3. Disrupt your routines. Enroll in a class, learn a language, read about a different culture, and more. Engaging in something new presents you with new information. This broadens your knowledge and understanding of things around you.
4. Let your ideas flow – Avoid editing ideas as they come. Let ideas flow freely and capture as many as you can by writing them down. Take note of as many ideas as you can and edit them later. Allowing your internal editor free reign all the time can filter potentially innovative ideas that may come randomly in your mind.
5. Be open to sparks of inspiration. Search for inspirations from random things that may be related or unrelated to your current problem. Be open to ideas that random events or things can trigger. Opening your mind to possibilities enable you to catch even the most random thought or idea that can help you create innovative solutions to your problems.
6. Get excited about the possibilities. Leave the self-doubts and thoughts of impossibilities behind. If you want to think outside the box, focus on the possibilities. Thinking that something is impossible or cannot be done significantly limits your ability to discover novel solutions to problems.
Creating the mindset of looking at things and thinking differently promotes out of the box thinking. But sometimes it also means building on old or tried and tested ideas that work.