How to keep your creativity flowing by thinking like kids
As we age, the way we see the world changes… But everyone can still have a childlike mindset.
So let me explain some things you can do to address a problem with a childlike mindset at Orchard or in your personal life.
Imagine how a kid would deal with a problem
Think of yourself as a young kid for a while — what would you do? Where, who, why, and how would you go, see, stay, and perform? A kid’s imagination is unrestricted by the rules, it’s free to go anywhere. When you need to be creative, you may not spend the whole day thinking conventionally as an adult, task-oriented. Just turn on your childlike mindset!
Don’t think you’re too old or too smart — get an imaginary friend! It may be another approach — and it is not as crazy as it sounds. If you’re working on a product/service, your imaginary friend can also be a persona for it. It makes it much easier to establish a deep connection, empathising with your users, their problems and needs. You don’t have to write down the demographics, but visualise them as a real person with main jobs to get them done using your idea. What does influence them in deciding to follow your advice? Why is this important to them?
Rethink problems without rules and limitations
Kids don’t think in limits, they’re chaotic. The world has no obstacles or rules. They’re always looking for many answers. Somewhere on your way to adulthood, you lost your innocence and assumed certain things couldn’t be done or achieved. You were brought up like everyone else to think and see the world in the same way. And it’s useful for many things and even careers, but not for anything that needs imagination.
So, question everything! Get much more than a few answers to a question. And if your answers are limited by “this is how we always do it” or “this is how things are done”, find something else. Think about how other people created services like Uber or Airbnb — Steve Jobs used to question engineers as a kid several times, insisting on more detailed questions to create a phone that should have only one main button, the iPhone.
You may not be a Steve Jobs yet, but you can still question everything!
Slow down and get bored
Kids don’t have the responsibilities that adults do. Part of the growth means thinking about the future, plans, bills, work… And with all that comes stress. Stress damages brain cells, structure and function, causing side effects such as memory problems.
So, if you want to get your creative impulses again, take life more slowly. Find anything you can do to relax — don’t be too tight — or just unplug! Allow yourself adequate downtime. It seems an impossible task nowadays, when we aren’t working, watching TV or browsing our social media — but we need to create space to invoke possibilities.
When you can explore your inner child, with nothing to worry about, to have time for your imagination to flow, you can fill your life with worry-free fun again.
Eventually, you’ll need to be an adult again…
Give up control and look at things from a new angle. Kids explore everything and play with their imaginations around what they see and touch. One way to do this is to travel. It’s important for creativity, as it changes you physically and psychologically. It reduces stress, changes your daily habits, takes you out of your comfort zone, and induces the feeling of missing someone, of being missed. The distance can open you up to more creative thinking. It exposes you to new experiences and new ideas, expanding your perspectives.
And kids travel in their imagination without living up to their homes. We can also do the same. Try to occupy the back seat of your car to get a different perspective. Try a different route on foot or using other means of transport. Does it take more time? Even better! Or try walking in a different park, sitting in a different part of a different pub or café, looking at the top of the streets, checking out the buildings, exploring a different market… Several actions you can perform differently in your daily life.
Change the way you look at the world and there’s no need to go as far as getting a seat to do so.
So, slow down, look around, hoard some toilet paper and invent the next big thing