Eye of the Storm

Take time for mindfulness in your brainstorming process.

Wendy Ruyle 11.29.2022

A brainstorm is supposed to be a flurry of ideas, right? Well, it is. But finding some quiet space for mindfulness can take your session to the next level.

Including exercises and time for quiet contemplation allows for more thoughtfulness and consideration of different viewpoints. Plus, you’ll be better able to tap into the deep reserves of great ideas from the introverts on your team.

Here are a few ways to find moments of peace in your brainstorming session.

Build in time

When you create your schedule build in time for exercises that are done in isolation. Or start the session with a series of breathing exercises to help participants clear their minds before focusing on your goals for the day. You can use an app like Headspace or Calm or just find some soothing music and turn down the lights to shift gears.

This study showed that a short session of meditation prior to brainstorming allowed participants to have better idea generation skills and come up with more divergent ideas in the process.

You can even make the meditation time active for those who need to fidget. Walk around the building. Do a few yoga poses. Anything to get your mind off the daily grind.

Turn off the tech

Think about opportunities for activities that don’t allow tech. Create a space where email, texts, and voicemails don’t need to be checked and participants can take a true break from screen time. It’s hard to pry participants away from their devices but a 30-minute respite will do a world of good for your idea creation.

Create prompts

Develop a series of prompts for quiet thinking to help participants get creative. As opposed to other exercises that may be very goal-oriented, these prompts should encourage the mind to wander. Focus on something simple like breathing and then get to a flow state. You want to avoid overanalyzing or overthinking. Imagine your mind as an open space where ideas can come and go and intermingle with each other.

  • What if there was no budget?
  • What if there was no way to fail?
  • What if you had all the time in the world?
  • What if we could accommodate everyone’s needs?

When you finish, collect ideas without judgement and then step back to see where everyone’s concepts might overlap.

Break up your sessions

Allowing time in between creativity sessions for contemplation can help too. Don’t have one long marathon meeting. Break up your sessions over a few days or weeks to allow for ideas to bubble up in the moments in between.

As with all brainstorming tools, practice makes perfect. The more you include mindfulness in your sessions the more your team will be able to transition from their previous tasks and get to a place where the ideas are flowing.

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