How many times have you tried to come up with an idea so hard that you couldn’t focus on anything else? It has happened a lot of times to me. Whether it is thinking on a new game idea, a post for the blog or to find a solution to a programming or business problem, I’ve found the following tips useful for coming up with something helpful.
Find a distraction
Sometimes it is better to stop thinking about your problem and do something that doesn’t require you to think. Watch the TV, play a game, drive your car, read a book. Whatever it is that allows you to think about something else, at least for a brief time.
Get some relax time
I find it really difficult to be able to find a solution to a big problem when I have other things going around. When I am at the office, it is very difficult for me to get focused. Clients keep calling, employees ask for help, etc. So, I find the best times for thinking to be those where I can relax and I know no one will bother me. Generally, for me, those moments are either when I am taking a bath or when I am at bed about to get some sleep.
Get up early
This is something I’ve been doing for months and it has really worked for me. I try to get up at 5:00 am every day, like the most successful CEOs do , giving me almost 2 extra hours per day to work on my personal projects or to get some work done before arriving to the office. This another time of my day that I know everyone else is sleeping and I won’t get bothered. Also, it is said that the morning is the time where one gets the better concentration. That is, of course, after you have been able to master the art of waking up early.
Sometimes it is a good idea to look around for inspiration and to look at things that don’t have to do with your problem at hand. This is specially useful for Game Design. When trying to think of a new game idea, I tend to take a look at other games, game design books or articles, which is fine, but I would do better by reading books that don’t have to do with that subject, or watching films I’ve never seen, or traveling to places I’ve never been to (wish I could afford to do that each time I can’t come up with a new idea). Doing things out of your conform zone might help you see things differently or think about things you wouldn’t normally be able to know if you hadn’t experienced new situations.
Talk to someone
The more people you talk to, the more points of views you’ll get. This is a great way for coming up with solutions you wouldn’t have been able to think alone. Of course you will get bad ideas and great ideas, but it is up to you to try them, discard them, combine them and see what happens. It has been useful for Gregory House, why wouldn’t be for you?
I hope you found these tips useful as I have. If you have other tips I’d love to hear them!
One last piece of advice: Whatever you do, try to keep some pencil and paper with you all the time (Or your iPhone) and write down whatever idea pops into your mind. I try to educate myself to do that as long as it is possible. You won’t believe me if I told you the countless times I was in bed, about to sleep, and I came up with a great idea, and out of laziness, instead of writing it down, it would think: “This idea is really awesome, I don’t think I will forget about it in the morning…”. To this day I haven’t been able to remember those amazing ideas that would make me, maybe, become millionaire.
What about you? What things help you find some inspiration?
Making a game and can’t find inspiration? Try the Random Game Idea Generator!