12 Ways to Think Outside the Box

Thinking outside-the-box, is a concept that involves thinking creatively, innovatively, and freely, and may sometimes oppose the status quo. This can help, when you are struggling to produce new or fresh ideas.

Make an effort to push your thinking to or beyond its limit every now and then. But how do you develop the ability to confront problems in ways other than the way we usually confront them? Below are twelve ways to spice up your out-of-the-box thinking skill, so as to approach problems in new ways:

Embrace randomness

Encouraging randomness leads to an increase in insight and imagination. Being aware is the best way to make use of random thoughts, so as to enhance your creativity. Think about your situation for a while. What is that thing you are presently struggling with? Try to create a relationship between the random thoughts and the problem. Is there any connection between them? Consciously invite randomness into your work.

Draw a picture

This could be a representation of a person, a landscape, a building, or any unusual shape or form. This helps to boost your creativity, through the act of visualization. Drawing is a great form of mindfulness, that can help in the completion of a task.

Seek for the opinion of others

The purpose of this is to view the situation from different perspectives. Sometimes, a person’s subjective belief, judgement, or perspective, may provide us with a clue, or an idea, as regards the solution to the problem. Although their opposing beliefs may not be justifiable or valid, but by seeking for them, you are giving yourself the chance to see the world in a different way.

Try writing a poem

You may think this is absurd or nonsensical. Honestly, getting comfortable with feeling absurd might be a great way to think outside the box. Write a poem about the task, and the challenges you are experiencing. The idea is to encourage a path away from your usual way of doing things. You don’t necessarily have to show the poem to anyone.

Learn about another field

You can purchase books dealing on science, arts, or commerce. Study a field other than the one you are involved in. Learn about how things are done in another sector or industry. You might generate new ideas by doing this.

Study other religions

This is a relation between humans and the supernatural or divine. Learning about how this relation is structured or organized, can teach you a lot about how people connect with the world around them. This is a great way to consider new ideas or suggestions. Be open-minded, because an open mind will open doors.

Write freely

Freewriting is a mental disposal of ideas onto a page, usually in a chaotic or messy manner. It is advisable to make use of pen and paper, during freewriting. This is because typing doesn’t create much engrossment or interaction with different parts of the brain, when compared with handwriting.


Take some time to daydream. Let your mind wander from time to time, and you may find ideas that you had not previously thought of.

Read a novel in a different genre

If you are a regular reader of romance novels, try something different. You can decide to pick up a crime novel, and vice-versa. Focus on the message or problems which the writer is trying to convey or solve. Try to create a connection between the situation in the book, and the challenges you are dealing with in your work or field.

Interrupt your routine

Take a break from those patterns of thought and behaviour that are commonplace, and do something different. Disrupt your regular way of doing things. Engage in unfamiliar acts, so as to approach problems differently.

Take a break

You don’t have to overthink the problem. Set it aside, and take a break. Besides, overthinking is not a guarantee that you will find the solution to the problem. Go for a walk around the block, or garden, if you have one. This may help reset your perception.

Seek for the opinion of a child

Once again, you may think this is absurd, but it can be helpful. Ask a child to share his or her thoughts or ideas with you. Children have great imaginations.

49 Replies to “12 Ways to Think Outside the Box”

  1. I agree. Kids definitely think outside the box. Everything is new to them so they look at things with fresh eyes. They haven’t been told how they should think yet, so their minds are open. I just love kids for that reason. Everything is honest, open and exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the point on seeking opinion from other people.

    Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, called it forming a mastermind group where like minded individuals bounce ideas off one another and create new ideas based off that creative flow no one individual could have done by themselves.

    It’s synergy, where 1+1=3

    Liked by 1 person

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