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Mentalrobics™

You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

When participating in a Brainstorm, it's important to stay focused on the topic. It's very easy to become side-tracked on one particular idea and try to work out all the details of it. Remember that the point of a brainstorm is to generate lots of ideas. There will be plenty of time later to talk in depth about the promising ones. Try to keep focused on the goal of generating as many ideas as possible on the brainstorm topic.

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This Brainstorm rule goes hand in hand with the Defer Judgment rule that we talked about earlier.

Encouraging wild ideas is the opposite of passing judgment. Don't censor your own ideas just because you think they are impractical. Even if you have an idea that is totally crazy, silly, or seemingly impossible you should still contribute it. Crazy ideas inspire people to think of unusual solutions. Silly ideas bring some humor to the meeting and help keep spirits up. And who knows, your seemingly impossible idea might have a simple fix that turns it into a stellar solution. So speak up and contribute all your wild ideas.

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Deferring Judgment is a vital rule to adhere to when conducting a Brainstorm. To defer judgment, don't stop to evaluate any ideas during the brainstorm and never ever say that an idea is stupid or won't work. This rule will keep the momentum going and keep the group coming up with new ideas. Nothing kills the energy in a brainstorm faster than criticism. Not to mention that the person who offered the idea will feel embarrassed and will be less likely to continue contributing. There will be plenty of time after the brainstorm to go through all the ideas and weed out the gems.

Shooting down other people's ideas is just a cheap way to demonstrate your own superiority. In reality, it shows your inflexibility and will make people not want you to participate in their future brainstorms.

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A brainstorm is a meeting where you try to find solutions to a problem. They are frequently conducted in groups in order to get a variety of different perspectives and ideas. To have the best chance at getting different perspectives, choose participants with a range of different backgrounds for the brainstorm (i.e. don't pick all engineers to solve an engineering problem).

Every brainstorm should have a moderator whose job it is to write down all the ideas and keep the brainstorm on track. Make sure that everyone can see all the ideas as they are written (use a chalkboard or something similar).

To keep the energy of the meeting high, limit each brainstorm to 30 minutes (even if you don't have a solution by the end of the meeting) and have plenty of cookies, soda, pens, and paper available.

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There are many emotional states, such as anger or sadness, that are not conducive to creativity. Recognizing your mood and being able to modify it will help you get in to the creative mindset. This exercise will help.

Visualize five things that make you happy. Try to get a clear image of each item in your mind. You may have to close your eyes to get a vivid image. Now visualize five things that make you angry.

The more you practice, the better you will get at visualizing images and recognizing your emotional state.

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