File this post under “idea tips.” When my sister, now an artist out on the West Coast, was a little girl, she would put $5 in her jeans pocket with the intention of forgetting about it. Then the next time she put those same jeans on there would be a $5 “gift” waiting for her in the pocket. A monetary boomerang, you could say. Well, recently I did something similar, only it wasn’t $5, it didn’t involve my jeans, and it was by accident, but it did bear gifts.
I was working on a client project coming up with some retail merchandising ideas, writing some random notes down on my iPad (Penultimate app), making some scribbles. But nothing was really jiving for me. I had a meeting coming up anyway that would take me out of the office for the rest of the day, so I saved my notes and headed out.
The boomerang returns. The next day I sat back down to work on that retail assignment again. I went through the notes I’d taken the day before and Bam!, one of my notes immediately inspired a completely new idea. Then, a few notes later and Bam!, that one inspired another idea. It seemed the notes, much like my sister’s $5 in her jeans, boomeranged back to me, only when they came back the notes had become fully baked ideas.
Could be that my mind was incubating on those notes the whole time. Could be that being in a different mindset on a different day helped me to see those same notes in new ways. Could be that I was simply removing myself from my own reality – something I wrote about before in, “Multiple Creativity Studies Suggest: Creating Our Reality Requires Detaching From It.” Could be magic for all I care, it worked.
Try it. So the next time you’re grappling for ideas. Try the Idea Boomerang. Write a bunch of notes down and let it go.
You never know what might come back.