Creative problem solving


Tonight I attended a creative problem solving workshop at Right Brain Research. Kenji Konishi showed us his three step technique for breaking through tough problems. And it worked!

My problem is an inability to finish my own projects. Client work, no problem. I always get that done on deadline. But my personal stuff tends to languish. Maybe I get bored or distracted or frustrated. Whatever it is, I'd like to get rid of this backlog of half-done videos, books, and other things.

So how did I come up with a solution? Well, after brainstorming a bunch of possible ways to finish my projects (everything from 'bribe myself' to 'hire an assistant'), I randomly selected two and tried to combine them. That was hard! How do you combine "stop sleeping" with "collaborate by breaking project into dependent tasks"? I did it, as you'll see.

I did this a combination step few times and entered the results on a mind map--a drawing of the main theme and ideas branching off, with sub-ideas and so on.

Then, once I was satisfied with my mind map, I wrote out a story using the mind map as a guide. While writing the story, all of the unrelated ideas on the map seemed to come together into an actual workable solution.

pajama.gifAnd the solution? Plan a pajama party where all the guests come ready to work on a project of the hostess' choosing (which would, of course, be one of my unfinished projects!). Divide everyone into teams and set them a task. Maybe it would be "create the title frames for the video" or "edit the soundtrack." Something that could reasonably be accomplished before everyone falls asleep. Before going to bed, we'd put all the pieces together to complete the project.

In the morning, after a nice breakfast, everyone brings out their own unfinshed project and gets to trade with someone. So MJ might have a Flash navigation she is having trouble with and Miki might be frustrated by setting up a postcard server. They trade, set a deadline to get the work done and voila! Hurdles overcome, new ideas and techniques shared and it's fun, too.

Now I just have to find enough willing people with similar skill sets. Anybody interested in a video editing sleepover??


*checks her mail for suspicious looking invitations*

You, Kristen are cool!

but some padding on your pictures would be nice.

I'm in!! But I know next to nothing about video editing.. but I can do the cooking and make coffee for everybody else!!

Would love to help you with the video editing -- alas, I'm in NYC and am just a humble fan of your blog.

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Recent Comments

  • Vidiot: Would love to help you with the video editing -- read more
  • Tracey: I'm in!! But I know next to nothing about video read more
  • UltraBob: but some padding on your pictures would be nice. read more
  • UltraBob: You, Kristen are cool! read more
  • gomichild: *checks her mail for suspicious looking invitations* read more