What is Outside the Box Thinking?
Designers who think outside the box are willing to forget common problem-solving methods, find out what the real problem is for users, get rid of old assumptions, and be creative. This type of thinking is important for the design thinking process, which involves looking at problems from different perspectives.
If you can think outside of the box, you can achieve things that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
— Matshona Dhliwayo, Philosopher, entrepreneur & author
See where—and what—thinking outside the box can get you:
Break Out of the Box to Find Spectacular Solutions
Asking “why” allows you to find more innovative solutions than traditional methods. Design problems are often complex, with many factors affecting what users want and need. Going against the grain of linear thinking can help you sidestep problems before they cause serious issues.
If you want to avoid wasting time and effort pursuing a mistaken goal and coming up with only second-rate solutions, try thinking outside the box. This will enable you to see the bigger picture and come up with more innovative and effective solutions. Additionally, it can help you find other useful resources, identify gaps in the market, and inspire your design team during the ideation stage of any project. Therefore, thinking outside the box is essential to design thinking.
The constraints of the design space and our perspective from habitually meeting problems as everyday tasks can limit our design ideation. To get outside the box, it’s important to:
- Focus on overlooked aspects of a situation/problem.
- You should challenge assumptions about the problem and users to get a better understanding of the issue.
- Try to find different ways to approach problems, not just different potential solutions.
WHY IS THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX SO HARD?
When you think differently than you are accustomed to, you will find it to be more difficult than you anticipated.
There are many factors at work as to why this happens.
Willingness to think differently means being willing to be different from family, friends, and coworkers.
This is a fate worse than death for many of us, as we may lose the support of those closest to us.
We’d rather be followers than leaders because it’s easier and more emotionally satisfying.
THINKING LIKE A CHILD
This concept can work very well, according to many leading experts. Just look at children.
The study found that children who had more opportunities for free play were better at setting goals and achieving them than children who had more opportunities for structured play.
The researchers found that the kids who spent more time doing less structured activities were better at setting and reaching their goals.
The more time people spend in activities that are more rigid and structured, the less successful they are at setting and reaching goals.
Generally, kids have few preconceived notions about most topics, which enables them to think more freely without worrying about rejection or failure.
If you want to think more creatively, observe how children live.
HOW TO START THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
Now you see the benefits of thinking outside the box, I’m sure you’re looking forward to it.
You always had the power to do great things, but you never knew how to use it. This guide will teach you how to tap into that power.
One suggestion is that we should change our way of thinking so that we encounter ideas, rather than try to come up with them.
If you change your attitude from trying to create ideas to just browsing for them, you’ll find that it eliminates any pressure you’ve been putting on yourself.
This one simple change will change the direction of your brain.
You can find solutions to your problems by browsing through your brain.
Like Bob Ross always said, “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.”
If you have one good experience, you will probably have many more in the future.
-Instead of saying “I’m bored,” try “I’m curious.” -Instead of saying “I can’t,” try “I’m trying.” -Instead of saying “I hate myself,” try “I’m human.” Here are a few examples to help you get started with self-talk. -Instead of saying “I’m bored,” try “I’m curious.” -Instead of saying “I can’t,” try “I’m trying.” -Instead of saying “I hate myself,” try “I’m human.”
#1. ALWAYS BE WILLING TO ASK “WHY?”
The greatest ideas in history were often conceived by people who were asking themselves “why?” when they were trying to solve a problem.
What do these people have in common? All of these people were dreamers who turns their dreams into reality. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, Louis Pasteur discovered the cause of sour milk, and the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. All of these people were dreamers who made their dreams come true.
The aforementioned people were never apprehensive to oppose the idea that their thoughts were excessively fanciful or unusual for earnest contemplation.
“We’ve always done it this way”
If you want to see an example of someone who is determined not to think outside the box, look at the person who just said that to you.
You will be amazed at how much creative thinking you can do if you choose to avoid the usual obstacles that you and others place on your thinking.
#2. WHEN IN DOUBT, TAKE A WALK
Taking a walk in my neighborhood or at a local park can help a lot.
If you go for a walk by yourself or with a friend, you will probably start thinking about things other than the problem that has been bothering you.
The beauty of nearby flowers and trees, a bird singing in the distance, or a funny story your walking buddy just told you are all simple things that can make you happy.
If you stop putting pressure on yourself to find a solution, you will be able to find it more easily.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are released when you exercise, which can lead to improved mood and pain relief.
So when in doubt, take a walk.
You will find that your best ideas come to you when you are least expecting them.
#3. PLAY GAMES
There are many other activities, not just walking, that can help improve your ability to think creatively.
This is a strategy where you just take a piece of paper, or open up a document on your computer, and start writing non-stop for a set period of time. Try free writing as a way to help you get your thoughts down on paper without worrying about grammar or punctuation. One of the best strategies for getting your thoughts down on paper is free writing, where you write non-stop for a set period of time without worrying about grammar or punctuation.
Choose a topic and spend 10 minutes writing about it without stopping to edit. Don’t worry about the outcome.
This forces you to think creatively rather than conventionally, and to do so under pressure of a time constraint.
Try picking up some crayons and use them to draw a picture.
Just because you don’t consider yourself to be an artist, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue art.
The three things you will accomplish by drawing a picture are:
When you do a variety of tasks, you engage different parts of your brain, which can lead to increased creativity.
When you adopt a pet, you may find yourself beginning to relive some happy childhood memories. This is because, like when you were a child, you will now have a carefree life with your only worry being what your pet is going to do next.
Lastly, practicing visual thinking will help you think differently in the future.