“Think outside the box” is overrated. How about “Thinking without rules” “Thinking without limit” “Limitless thinking” or “Think above the clouds”.  You cannot possibly think outside the box unless you understand the nature of the box that bounds your current thinking. It’s important to understand your current rules and conventions that guide your decision making process.

To “think outside the box” is to think beyond the ordinary or the obvious. Once you have stepped out of the box, I recommend you stay outside the box and constantly think about new ways to to get work done. Make no mistake, thinking outside the box sounds great but if not managed well can kill your business.

The following will help you stay out of the box and come up with new creative ways to achieve your personal and business goals. By thinking outside the parameters imposed by technology, creative professionals can build businesses by creating an experience that truly resonates with prospective clients.

1. It pays to keep an open mind!

Maintain a liberal, open mind, unconventional wisdom, the zeal to be different, and a nonconformist approach to uncover things. Look beyond the traditional ways of accomplishing tasks.  If you have always done it the same way, how about trying a new strategy that could prove more productive. There is always a better way to get something done, you have not found it yet!

2. Challenge yourself, and you will grow.

Learning a new topic will not only teach you a new set of facts and figures, it will teach you a new way of looking at and making sense of aspects of your everyday life or of the society or your business. You should be willing to take new perspectives to day-to-day work.

3. Find a new door.

When was the last time you questioned the existing convention, conceptualized problems differently, approached problems in new, innovative way. It’s about time you figured out what could be improved, challenged, done different, done with less effort to achieve more. 

Start questioning everything. Consider everything. Go through every possibility until you know for a fact it can or cannot be done.

4. Stop speaking and start listening.

You must be capable of listening to, supporting, nurturing and respecting others when they come up with new ideas. Don’t shoot down new ideas from your team or colleagues, give them a chance to make sense before count them out.

5. Break free from routines!

Doing the same thing, day in and day out, will dull even the smartest person’s mind. Find ways of minimizing routine in your life. Don’t take the same approach to solving problems. Look at the same thing as everyone else and think something different.

Get up and move yourself to move your business. Keep moving until you no longer have a routine and then enjoy the business growth and new ideas you will be ready to implement! If you find yourself stuck in a cycle that slows your process, immediately review your routine and make changes where necessary.

6. Start using Evernote or your favorite to-do app consistently

I strongly suggest you get yourself a productive note taking app. When an idea comes to you or you see something that you think could be useful later, don’t hesitate to save it.  Adopt the save-as-you-go attitude.

7. Get rid of habits that inhibits your ability to change.

Negative attitude, fear of failure, perfectionism, following conventional rules without questioning their efficiency have all proven to inhibit creativity. Thinking “inside the box” may not be necessarily bad, but when you refuse to review your business processes to verify if they are actually given you the best results you should achieve, you will stand in the way of your own growth.

8. Never rule out a new location

To get out of your own designed box is always a challenge when you surround yourself with the same people, the same 4 walls, etc. Go to a new place, find a fresh location, try a coffee shop  for example. Try working in a partner’s office, or even outdoors.

You may need a break from regular habits and routines.  You may not be able to change your office entirely, but once in a while work from a different location, brainstorm with a new group, share ideas with colleagues in a different department, you will be surprised at the outcome of that change.

9. Start reading outside your scope

Read a business magazine, journal or blog  in an industry other than your own, or grab a few ebooks from other close niches that teaches how tasks or business processes are accomplished in that sector. You could apply some of those ideas in your recent strategy.

Try reading something you’d never have touched otherwise – if you read literary fiction, try a mystery or science fiction novel; if you read a lot of hard-boiled detective novels, try a mystery novel. Business readers could try reading outside business books and blogs.

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