Productivity

How to Generate Ideas?

Generating ideas can be challenging, but you can use several techniques and strategies to develop new and innovative ideas. Here are some practical ways to generate ideas:

  1. Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a popular technique for generating ideas. It involves setting a time limit and writing down as many ideas as possible on a specific topic. You can do this individually or as a group, and it’s essential to encourage free-flowing ideas without criticism or judgment.
  2. Mind Mapping: Mind mapping is a visual technique involving creating a diagram to connect ideas and concepts. Start by writing a central idea or topic in the center of a piece of paper and then branching out with related thoughts in different directions.
  3. SCAMPER Technique: SCAMPER stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. This technique involves using each of these prompts to develop new ideas for a specific problem or topic.
  4. Inspiration from Others: Reading, watching, or listening to content from other people can help generate new ideas. Consider exploring new topics and interests to broaden your horizons and spark new ideas.
  5. Free Writing: Free writing involves setting a timer for a specific time and writing down everything that comes to mind without editing or censoring. This technique can help to clear your mind and spark new ideas.
  6. Asking Questions: Questions can help generate new ideas by prompting you to think more deeply about a particular topic or problem. Consider using open-ended questions like “What if?” or “How might we?” to prompt creative thinking.

SCAMPER Technique to Generate Ideas?

The SCAMPER technique is a creative thinking tool that can help you generate new ideas and solutions for a particular problem or challenge. It involves using a set of prompts to guide your thinking and generate new ideas based on existing concepts. The prompts stand for:

  • Substitute involves replacing a particular element or component with something else. For example, “What if we substituted plastic packaging with biodegradable materials?”
  • Combine involves combining different ideas or concepts to create something new. For example, “What if we combined solar power with energy storage to create a more efficient system?”
  • Adapt involves modifying an existing idea or solution to fit a particular context or need. For example, “How might we adapt our marketing strategy to reach a younger audience?”
  • Modify involves making changes or improvements to an existing idea or solution. For example, “How might we modify our product design to reduce its environmental impact?”
  • Put to another use involves using an existing idea or solution for a different purpose. For example, “What if we used our waste heat to warm our buildings?”
  • Eliminate involves removing or eliminating elements or components that are not necessary or useful. For example, “What if we eliminated unnecessary steps in our production process to reduce costs?”
  • Reverse involves reversing the order or process of an existing idea or solution. For example, “What if we started with the result and worked backward to design our product?”

By using the SCAMPER prompts, you can stimulate your creativity and generate new ideas by looking at existing concepts in a new and different way. The technique can be used individually or in a group setting, and it is beneficial when you are stuck on a problem or need to generate new ideas quickly.

What Questions to Ask to Generate Ideas?

Here are some questions you can ask to generate ideas:

  1. What if…? This question encourages you to imagine different scenarios and possibilities. For example, “What if we could travel through time?”
  2. How might we…? This question prompts you to consider different solutions and approaches to a problem. For example, “How might we reduce our carbon footprint?”
  3. What would happen if…? This question encourages you to explore the potential outcomes of a particular action or decision. For example, “What would happen if we switched to renewable energy sources?”
  4. Why does this matter? This question prompts you to consider the underlying reasons and motivations behind a particular issue or topic. For example, “Why does climate change matter?”
  5. Who else is working on this? This question encourages you to explore what others do in the same or related fields. For example, “Who else is working on sustainable agriculture?”
  6. What are the obstacles or challenges? This question prompts you to consider the potential barriers to success and to brainstorm solutions. For example, “What are the obstacles to achieving gender equality in the workplace?”
  7. How can we improve…? This question encourages you to think critically about existing processes or systems and identify improvement areas. For example, “How can we improve our recycling program?”

You can come up with numerous different scenarios for questions. What would you do if you had to solve the problem in just five minutes? What if you had to solve the problem without using any technology? What if you could solve the problem with unlimited resources?

Asking questions is a powerful tool for generating new ideas and sparking creativity. By using open-ended and thought-provoking questions, you can challenge your assumptions, expand your perspectives, and unlock new possibilities.

Generating ideas is a process that requires experimentation and exploration. By trying different techniques and strategies, you can find the best approach for you and unlock your creativity.

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Google Releases Three New Experimental Apps to Help Cut Down Your Phone Usage

Garrett Bridges:

Envelope: an experimental app which temporarily transforms your phone into a simpler, calmer device, helping you to take a break away from your digital world.

Activity Bubbles: …every time you unlock your phone, your wallpaper will create a bubble.

Screen Stopwatch: …live wallpaper that displays phone usage in real-time, giving you a precise count of how much time you spend on your phone each day.

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How to Work From Home and Actually Get Stuff Done

Jill Chafin:

It’s harder to implement structure when you’re on your own. However, creating a solid routine is key to being productive.

– Wake up at a designated time
Get dressed
Do some work before breakfast
Prep meals in advance
Eat in a separate space
Exercise
Utilize your productive time
Set specific hours
Minimize interruptions:

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Google Has a Plan to Stop Digital Distraction (and It’s Smarter Than Apple’s)

Jared Newman:

So when Google launched a new feature for Android phones called “Focus Mode” earlier this week, I knew exactly how I’d use it. By scheduling Focus Mode for those evening hours, I have now stopped myself from using Gmail, Slack, and Twitter without significant friction. Notifications from those apps won’t even show up on my phone until after the kids’ bedtimes.

The launch of Focus Mode highlights a subtle but important difference in how Google and Apple have approached the issue of digital distraction so far: While Apple’s Screen Time tools tend to be heavy-handed, Google has realized that it needs to allow for granularity and nuance. Otherwise, people may get frustrated and avoid using the tools at all.

On the iPhone and iPad, the closest equivalent to Focus Mode is a feature called Downtime. But instead of letting users create a blacklist of distracting apps, Downtime uses a white list that blocks everything except phone calls by default.

This approach seems too heavy-handed to me, because the biggest problems usually come from just a handful of apps. Having to enable dozens of others to work during Downtime is a hassle.

Still, Apple has always been more prescriptive in terms of deciding what it thinks works best for users. In many cases, that approach of simplicity over granularity works well. But as Google has discovered over the last year, countering digital distraction is an area in which one size does not fit all.

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Is Digital Distraction as Bad As You Think It Is?

Terri R. Kurtzberg:

Perhaps the best way to evaluate time spent with our phones is to ask two related questions.

First, what are you doing with the time you’re devoting to your phone, and is it consistent with your values and priorities?

If you feel that you and your kids are enjoying your screen time and not risking sleep, work, or in-person interactions, you may not have much reason for concern. To help with this task, tools and apps that can track your screen time and let you know where your attention is being directed—or even limit where it can go—are becoming more prevalent.

Secondly, what are your blind spots about where and how phone use might be limiting the rest of your life?

Most of us realize we shouldn’t use phones right before bed—or, even worse, when driving or crossing streets—and we know we should keep an eye on our kids and teenagers to ensure that they are building good habits both inside and outside the digital realm. But we’re less clear on how our phones might be affecting our lives in other ways.

The latest research offers some lessons. For starters, we’re not as good as we think at multitasking: We generally give worse attention to both tasks when we try to do two things at once. Over time, people who do this constantly end up with greater error rates on tasks, perhaps linked to poorer working memories.

Even the mere presence of a phone can limit your engagement with work and your ability to build relationships with others.

All of this means that even though you may not need to worry about your phone use overall, there are still moments when you’d be wise to put your device out of sight and earshot. This will give you the best chance to think about complex tasks without interruption or to engage more fully with those around you.

Is Digital Distraction as Bad As You Think It Is? Read More »

How To Build A Daily Habit Tracker In Trello (And Reach Those Goals!)

Britt Joiner:

Instead of listing out projects, I wanted to build systems and habits that would hold me accountable to my goals along the way.

[…]

This is where the magic happens, my friends.

This card structure is how I make progress. It’s not through the cards I drag over to “Done”, but in the checklist items that help me chip away at my big goals.

Instead of making a bunch of cards for all the things I want to do this year, I asked “What’s a minimal action that I could take every day, week, and month to help me make progress on this goal?”

Making the magic happen is by monthly, weekly and daily to-do lists.

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15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity

People who manage to get a lot accomplished each day aren’t super human, they’ve just mastered a few simple habits.

  1. Declutter your desk
  2. Be part of the 20%
  3. Work less
  4. Stop phoning it in
  5. Try this email hack (email-to-text format for your cell-phone provider)
  6. Go heavy on HVAs (high value activities)
  7. Meet smarter
  8. Sleep on the job
  9. Beware these productivity killers (texting, Internet, gossip, social media, email)
  10. Make prioritization a priority
  11. Stay in the slumber “sweet spot”
  12. Seek out the sun
  13. Want to motivate people? Be human
  14. Complain
  15. Hit the elliptical

Source: 15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity

Comments

You forgot this one – read less on websites about how to increase your productivity while working.

You forgot one of the most important rules for being productive.

“It’s better to do a sub-par job on the right project than an excellent job on the wrong project.” — Robert J. Ringer

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★ Why Already Busy People are More Likely to Get More Things Done

Over time, as this realization gets repeated, the reliable person winds up with many opportunities. He becomes busy. That’s why if you want something done, you ask a busy person. He’s busy because he’s shown he can get stuff done.

Source: Why Already Busy People are More Likely to Get More Things Done

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★ Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret

“Don’t break the chain.”

Get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step is to get a big red magic marker.

For each day that you do your task of, for example writing, you get to put a big red X over that day. After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.

“Don’t break the chain.”

It works because it isn’t the one-shot pushes that get us where we want to go, it is the consistent daily action that builds extraordinary outcomes. Daily action builds habits. It gives you practice and will make you an expert in a short time.

Resources

[Lifehacker: Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret →]

Habit Tracking Apps

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