15 Apr

Go Lateral!

In these times – even between working – it can be hard to stave off boredom; hard to keep the mind active.
But there is one thing that could keep you ticking over: lateral thinking.

Now, here’s the thing – lateral thinking needs fuel. It doesn’t just come about of its own accord. A starved mind will not come up with inspired, lateral ideas.
So, here’s a few ways in which you can keep your mind in shape and ward off complete boredom in these uncertain times.

1. Look at creative advertising books or examples of creative ads online, look at photo books, or look at books of patterns.

Look at quick, visual stuff: ads that quickly get across a product benefit, photos of unusual things/situations, patterns on match boxes. Think of these as a palate cleanser.
Stuff like this:

Screenshot 2020-04-15 at 12.17.35


IMG_3231 IMG_3232 IMG_3233 IMG_3234

2. Read books on lateral thinking – books that twist your mind: books like Edward De Bono’s Simplicity or Six Thinking Hats.

3. Get the Book of Thunks and go through it – maybe pick a question at random.
Questions are along the lines of ‘Do dogs believe in God?’, ‘If you comb your hair, is it art?’, ‘Can animals commit murder?’
If you have someone in your house you can debate with, great… or you can just roll the question around in your own mind, coming up with all manner of different answers (I’ve never had the same outcome twice with these questions).

4. Do something creative that’s not part of your daily routine; paint a picture (maybe of animals, maybe abstract), crochet/knit, write a song, write poems.
Or simply go for a long walk, go to a park – take in a bit of nature.
Near me there’s a field with some horses. Every day, I go for a walk and take a carrot with me. I then go ‘horse fishing’ – dangling the carrot until one or two horses come over, then stroking them. It perks me up and opens up my mind a bit.

5. Hop on Twitter and look out for @OneMinuteBriefs. Every day, a new brief is set: something simple, like ‘advertise video calling’, ‘sell shampoo’, or – as per a recent one –
‘discourage people from visiting Wales during the current crisis’ (#DontVisitWales… apparently, people were still visiting in significant numbers).
You have to come up with quick, simple responses (visual or entirely copy-based) in one-ish minute (in truth, some efforts look like they took closer to half an hour) – these can be Photoshopped, drawn/scamped, or written out, then posted on @OneMinuteBrief’s feed.
The best ones will be nominated by @OneMinuteBriefs, then a winner/winners will be chosen.

Here are my (very quick) attempts at answering the ‘advertise video calling’ and #DontVisitWales briefs…

Video calling:

OMBsHearsay OMBsWW OMBsZoom1 OMBsZoom2 OMBsZoom3 OMBsZoom4

#DontVisitWales (excuse the terrible scamp – it’s the Welsh dragon without wings and legs):

Screenshot 2020-04-13 at 13.24.20 Screenshot 2020-04-13 at 13.25.39 Screenshot 2020-04-13 at 13.26.22



And that’s it – my tips for engaging your brain, with some lateral thinking, during these tricky (and, sometimes, boring) times.
See how you get on. If nothing else, it’s a change of scenery for your mind – can’t do any harm.

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