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!
Pick a poem or song from our list and recite it out loud. Now, recite it again but skip every other word. Then skip every third word, and so on, until you can't do it any more. This exercise helps with your concentration and mental endurance.
1. Row row row your boat
2. The itsy bitsy spider
3. Jack and Jill went up the hill
An example of skipping by two: Jack Jill up hill fetch pail...
Previously we learned how keeping a bug list can be a great way to discover unmet needs that you may want to solve. This exercise will help you get started on your very own bug list.
Get a piece of paper and a pencil. Spend 10 minutes writing down bugs that you notice in your daily life. If you are having difficulty getting started, go through your typical day starting from when you wake up and write down all the bugs that come to mind. Here are a few to get you started...
1. Alarm clocks don't work when the power goes out
2. Coffee takes too long to brew
3. Toothpaste tube is messy
4. Can't find car keys
Many creative people like inventing or improving upon things, but it is often hard to discover what needs to be invented or improved. Here are three common ways that you can discover these unmet needs.
1. Interview or observe your target consumer. For example, you might talk to a bunch of teachers to see if they have any problems that you could solve.
2. Imagine yourself in their shoes. For example, you might pretend that you are a teacher and see if you can find any unmet needs.
3. Use yourself as the consumer and keep track of your own personal unmet needs.
Whichever method you use, a great way to discover unmet needs is to keep a bug list. Any time that you notice something that takes too much time, is complicated, or seems inconvenient to your consumer, write it down on your list. You can then refer to your bug list later to see if it sparks any ideas for inventions or improvements.
For each of the following statements, come up with at least two plausible reasons why they are true. Now, come up with at least two plausible reasons why they are false. This exercise will help you to see that many issues have different sides to them.
1. Putting money under your mattress is a good investment.
2. Small dogs have more energy than big dogs.
3. Hot weather makes people tired.
You can repeat this exercise by using any subjective statement that you can find.
Asking questions is an important ability for a creative person to have. As children, we probably asked our parents a bunch of questions. As we grow older, we tend to ask fewer and fewer questions. This is because once we reach a certain age, the questions become difficult enough that a parent or teacher may not have the patience or knowledge to answer them and this discourages us from asking further questions. The other reason why adults do not ask questions is because it is an admission of ignorance and people do not like appearing ignorant. As a result people frequently will nod their heads and agree to things that they do not understand.
A creative thinker overcomes these obstacles and asks questions. In reality, asking questions doesn't make you appear stupid; it shows your inquisitive nature and often reveals how much more you know about something than the person you are asking. Not to mention that the question you are asking is probably the same one that everyone else in the room has in the back of their minds. You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain from asking questions.