When you’re at work in your office’s conference room, it’s pretty easy to get a brainstorming session going. But what happens when the office is closed and your entire team is totally remote? Do you plan Zoom meetings or take a break from creative planning? Do you have the skills to brainstorm on your own?
To get a brainstorming session going remotely, try these options:
1. Build a designated brainstorming space at home
At this point in the pandemic, you likely have a designated spot at home where you set up to work for the day. Maybe you have a home office, maybe your dining room table is your go-to, or if you’re like me, you appreciate the comforts of a cushy sectional.
Do you want to use this same space to come up with creative new ideas? Maybe you need to compartmentalize your creative space from your workspace. Maybe you need a daily outdoor walk to get the creative juices flowing.
It may be a good idea to assign a spot in your home or outside for creative sessions.
2. Create a digital channel with your team for collaboration
In addition to having a designated workspace at home, you likely already have a channel in which you collaborate with your team.
At HIPB2B, we regularly use Slack, Asana, and Microsoft, as well as other tools to help our team collaborate. Slack is used for general and direct communication. Asana is used for planning and organizing assignments. Microsoft Teams is used for video chatting about assignment progress and brainstorming.
There are plenty of apps you can use for team collaboration, like these here.
3. Curate an RSS feed to encourage new ideas
RSS feeds feel a little outdated in 2020 but I thrive on my curated RSS feed. If you aren’t sure what an RSS feed is or haven’t used one, let me explain. RSS (RDF Site Summary/Really Simple Syndication) is a “web feed that allows users and applications to access updates to websites in a standardized, computer-readable format.”
RSS feeds allow you to keep track of several different websites and their new posts, on a single feed. I’ve used Feedly for the last 5+ years to curate content for our social media, as well as for personal content.
Utilize RSS feeds to discover new content and inspire new ideas and fully empower your brainstorming sessions.
4. Break the distractions
It’s no surprise that working from home can create numerous distractions. Maybe it’s your pet or your child, having the TV on as background noise, people knocking on your front door, or the need to get your butt up and get your steps in.
How can we balance our work-life balance when the two are so intertwined?
Here are some tips for staying focused:
- Create a separate space for work
- Organize a schedule for the day
- Take advantage of your lunch break
- Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of the workday
5. Write down anything and everything that comes to mind
I remember watching a YouTube video of a very successful creative pro who always carried a Moleskin notebook with them to jot down every single thing that came to their mind. They wrote down everything, whether it seemed important in the moment or not, like a creative journal. Personally, physically writing things down with a pen helps me retain that information, which is why I love writing things down.
As the Positivity Blog states, you should write things down:
- Because ideas don’t stay for long.
- Because written goals are very important.
- It’s important to unload your mental RAM.
- It encourages clearer thinking.
- To remind yourself of what to focus on.
6. Try some brainstorm music
When it comes to really trying to focus on a task, my go-to is putting on music. This applies to work, reading a book, or driving my car. Generally, I like one of Spotify’s many “Focus” playlists, or:
- Something for concentration, like classical music
- Something to inspire, like the We Bought a Zoo soundtrack
- Something with fixed tempo/volume, like deep house music
Not only does this music help my concentration, it also has the ability to inspire new ideas or some creative flow in me, which in turn fuels my brainstorming.
While remotely brainstorming with your team sounds less than ideal, COVID-19 has been all about the trade-offs. Through the pandemic, we will learn new skills by living this “new normal,” and brainstorming is one more thing you can add to the list. Read about more Real Life Work from Home Tips During the COVID-19 Quarantine.
- Are there any other tricks you’d add to this list?
- What other new skills have you learned through the pandemic?