What Is Creative Loafing?
You can use periods of relaxation to come up with new ideas
and solutions to problems. Yes, you can loaf around productively.
How do you creatively loaf? Open your mind, relax, and use one
of the many idea-generating techniques.
A Creative Loafing Technique
One of my favorite techniques is great for generating new
ideas rather than solving specific problems. It can be used in
almost any area of life. It is simply the mental exercise of
imagining new applications for existing ideas.
While laying on the couch, I saw a new business advertised
on TV. It's a company that uses a dog to find mold in your house.
Dogs can be trained to sniff out almost anything. There was a
news story a year ago about a dog that could detect if you had
My first thought? "I wonder what else dogs could be used
to find?" One idea that came to mind was to use dogs to
find other pets. They find lost people so well, so why not a
service to find lost pets? One sniff of the cats favorite rug,
and the dog is on the trail.
A Creative Loafing Example
You can certainly use your relaxing times to solve any personal
problems. Put creative loafing together with a good idea-generating
technique, though, and you can lay under a tree and have an endless
stream of creative new ideas. To use this "new-application
technique," just start with the essence of the idea, and
look for new ways to use it.
You might, for example, lay there and think about the pneumatic
tubes that deliver your money and papers at a bank's drive-through.
The essence? A cartridge that delivers things through a tube
using air pressure. It's easy to imagine the same thing working
for human transport. Could you ride "the tube" to the
next city? Maybe make this into an amusement park ride?
Look at the other aspects of an idea too. For example, these
tubes also allow several customers to be waited on at once. Where
else do they need this? A fast food drive through. Pneumatic
tubes would spill drinks, but the idea of multiple car lanes
can be used. Several drive-through windows, radiating out like
spokes, at different angles, would allow three different lines
Want to practice using this technique? Lay back and...
- Think of two new uses for magnets.
- Think of three new uses for pedal-power.
- Find a new application for Darwin's theory of natural selection,
outside of biology.
You can see how easy it can be to come up with new ideas.
Why not learn a few more of these techniques? Apply them to personal
problems too, and to make the best use of your creative relaxation
time, keep a notebook or tape recorder ready.