- Brainstorming your… brain.
- Learn a few different creative techniques to create a list of potential course topics
Whether you are the subject matter expert or you are designing instruction for a team or organization, there are moments in the process when you will find yourself without the words or creative integrity to move forward. The curriculum is staring you in the face and your brain feels completely empty. At that moment, instead of giving in to the urge to beat your head on your desk, use that emptiness to practice these tips for innovation and exploration.
MOTIVATE YOUR ENDORPHINS.
Physical activity releases endorphins (natural happy drugs) into your brain. If you feel your brain drifting or sitting stagnant, physical activity may be a quick fix for writer's block. Go for a walk, run, or do a few jumping jacks to get your body in motion. If the idea of physical activity makes you cringe, take a few moments to enjoy a hobby that makes you happy. If you aren’t convinced that exercise and kinesthetics has positive benefits for your brain, take a look at research in neuroeducation. This article in the journal Learning, Media and Technology dives deeper into the benefits of game play and hands-on learning. While you are enjoying your physical activity and hobbies, think about your audience and how their favorite activities can be included in the research and content that you are developing.
SEEK OUT PEER SUPPORT.
One reason that you might not be able to compose your thoughts could be a lack of supporting research or data. Engage your peers to share their most recent breakthroughs. Read blogs, scan through research documents, dust off your old college papers for ideas, or call your mentor for a witty discussion. Schedule a video conference with your three most supportive colleagues. Talk about what you’ve developed so far and brainstorm where to go from there.
PARTICIPATE IN A GROUP ACTIVITY.
Energy breeds energy. Get out there, exchange ideas, and feel involved. The gathering doesn’t have to be centered around the topic you are working on. Group activities help to generate conversation and chatter. At moments when your brain feels silent, allow others to engage it. Feel connected to your community by volunteering, attending a town hall meeting, helping at a local shelter, or striking up a conversation with a stranger at a coffee shop.