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Mentalrobics™

You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

Synectics is a problem solving technique similar to brainstorming, but with more complexity and structure. A leader is chosen to facilitate the session. The leader is not allowed to contribute to the solution; they are there only to facilitate and record what the group produces.

Define
The leader asks the group for a goal or problem statement to define the session. The leader chooses a keyword from this phrase and writes it down so everyone can see it.

Analogies
The leader now selects a topic that is completely unrelated to the discussion topic. The group is now asked to come up with examples of the keyword that relate to the new topic.

For example, lets say that the goal is to build a better toaster and that the keyword is "food". The leader might choose the topic of "music" and ask the group to come up with analogies and examples of how "food" and "music" are like.

Associations
The leader instructs the group to ignore the goal for the moment and to focus on the examples produced by the "analogy" step. They are to work individually and write down any associations that they have with any of the examples that were produced about the unrelated topic.

Absurd Idea
The group is now asked to work in pairs and use these associations to come up with an idea that address the original problem from the "define" stage. This idea will likely be impossible, impractical or silly. Present these ideas to the group.

Refine
In this step, the group takes the absurd ideas from the previous step and combines and refines them to make them more practical and applicable to the goal. This step often produces some surprising and creative solutions to the original problem.

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