Who does not struggle when it comes to coming up with creative ideas? At times, it can be really tough and time-consuming. But according to research by behavioural and learning scientist Marily Oppezzo, getting up and going for a walk might be all it takes to get your creative juices flowing. She explained how walking could help you get the most out of your next brainstorm.
“Right from the first idea to the final product, the creative process is a long process,” she said. She conducted four studies, which all led to the same result–walking helps people become more creative.
In one of the studies, the group that was walking on the treadmill did almost twice as well as compared to the group that was seated. “The people who are walking on the treadmill still had a residue effect of the walking, and they were still creative afterwards. So, the implication of this is that you should go for a walk before your next big meeting and just start brainstorming right away,” she added.
She suggested five ways that can help you come up with creative ideas.
“First, you should pick a problem or a topic to brainstorm. This is not when you are in the shower and all of a sudden a new idea pops out of the shampoo bottle. This is something you are thinking about ahead of time and are intentionally thinking about brainstorming a different perspective on the walk,” she said.
Secondly, “I get asked this a lot. Is this okay while running? If running for you is a comfortable pace, good. So just walking at a comfortable pace is a good choice”.
Thirdly, “You want to come up with as many ideas as you can. So one key of creativity is to not lock on that first idea. Keep going, keep coming up with new ones until you pick one or two to pursue,” she suggested.
“You might worry that you don’t want to write them down because what if you will forget them? So, you can record through your phone because the act of writing your idea down is already a filter. You’re going to be like, is this good enough to write down? And then you write it down,” she said.
And finally, “Don’t do this forever, right? If you’re on the walk and that idea is not coming to you, come back to it later at another time. So, I think we are coming up on a break right now. So I have an idea why don’t you grab a leash and take your thoughts for a walk?” she suggested