Stages in the creative process
- Searching for challenges
It is rather obvious that challenges cannot be sought but come in obvious problems and issues. However, some problems are very small and subtle that only few people notice them and at other times, there are no problems only opportunities to improve on an existing condition (Ruggiero, 2009). These challenges do not arouse any emotions in people and one has to look for them. People are responsive to the challenges that they can perceive.
- Expressing the problem or issue
The second stage is to find the best way to express or state the problem. The expression of the problem is usually expected to yield the most helpful ideas. People should consider expressing problems in different ways because each way opens a different avenue of thought. It is safe to take time and decide on the best expression instead of rushing and seeking out complicated and unreasonable decisions (Ruggiero, 2009).
- Investigating the issue
This stage involves obtaining all information that is necessary in dealing effectively with a problem. It can involve merely searching one’s past for experience and observation that is suitable to handle current problems. It can also involve obtaining fresh observation and experience, interviews with knowledgeable people and other related research (Ruggiero, 2009).
- Producing ideas
This stage involves the generation of enough ideas to decide the action to take or the belief to embrace. The obstacles in this stage are unconscious tendency to limit one’s ideas to familiar, common, and habitual responses while blocking out the new and uncommon ones. It is good to maintain openness and embrace new solutions to problems (Ruggiero, 2009). Developing curiosity in my search
I have encountered many challenges in my life but the one that troubled me most was forgetfulness. Since I was 8 years old, I used to forget easily where I had kept items around the house and to whom I had lent out a certain items at school. To overcome my challenge, I first got curious on how people are able to keep track of many things. I got observant on how different people maintain memory of where they kept different things. I observed the local store and noted that all related items were usually kept close to each other; foodstuff such as flours and cereals were near each other, books near other stationery, candies near biscuits etc. I also observed that there was massive labeling and small and hard-to-notice items such as candy, chocolates were placed near the exit.
I looked for imperfections in the way some things were placed. For instance, I questioned why at the movies store they simply grouped the movies in terms of year of production and category (horror, comedy, drama etc) instead of getting to details and arranging the movies in alphabetical order based on their titles. I expected one to be able to locate a movie within 30 seconds of getting inside the store if one wanted a specific title.
I noticed that people complained that they were taking long to locate certain movie titles. I decided to investigate whether it was possible to groups the movies based on alphabetical arrangement. I weighed the implications and practicality of the issue and discovered that it would require patience to master the ability to keep arranging movies in a given order. However, the effort would be worth since it would save customers lots of time.
I realized that placing some sort of bookmarks labeled in alphabetical order in a movie section dealing with say comedies produced in 2012 would actually save people time. On a personal level, I decided to reorganize the way I kept my items through labeling and strategic placement to allow easy sighting as recommended by Brandenberg (2006).
Expressing the problem created by the challenge
There were several problems associated with my forgetfulness. First, I took too long to obtain something that required me to recall where I had kept items such as shoelaces, wristwatch, notebooks, and pens. At school, I lost some books by forgetting the names of people to whom I had lent. In order to overcome my challenge, I first considered myself as being too young to remember everything. I thought that I could grow out of my challenge. I also thought of informing my family members and friends of where I had kept my items and then have them remind me of those details whenever I needed something. I also thought that I could regain remembrance on my own. This last option seemed the best since I could not trouble anyone and I could develop it sustainably. I discovered that if I worked on my organization, labeling, strategic positioning, and record keeping, as recommended by Wiles and Wiles (2010), I could overcome forgetfulness. This perspective would save me the mockery from my friends, being taken advantage of, and having some items stolen by trusting the wrong people among several other negative implications. Fighting forgetfulness on my own was the best solution to my challenge.
Investigating the problem
My investigation into my challenge and the reasons why I needed to take action were informed by the following questions:
- What items did I constantly forget where I had kept them?
- What places did I constantly find the items?
- On average, how long did I take to remember where I had kept the items?
- Was there a chance that someone was shifting my items from the positions that I had kept them?
- At school and at home which people constantly borrowed my items?
- Who took long or never returned some items?
I personally held the answers to the first three questions. The sources to the fourth question were to be my family members and friends at school. The source to the fifth question would be a combination of responses from the first four questions, especially the fourth question. The fourth question in which would question my family members and close friends would be a perfect source of information for the sixth question.
Thorough explanation of the problem
My investigations into my forgetfulness and the possible courses of action to take were very successful. In response to the first question, I discovered that the items that I misplaced were pens, books, my wristwatch, my diary, notebook, drawing book, some music CDs, shoelaces, and socks. In about 90% of the misplacements, I found all of those items in my bedroom at various corners or drawers. The living area was the second place that I found several of my music CDs and books. On average, I took about 10 minutes to locate my items.
In response to the fourth question, I discovered that my younger brother usually took some of my shoelaces and pens while two distant friends in school frequently borrowed my storybooks. I also lent out severally to strangers at school. Thrice, one of the friends had taken my storybook without my consent while my brother had severally taken my shoelaces in a similar manner. My brother and friend at school usually took long to return the items they had picked without my consent. In response to all these discoveries, I decided to maintain a record of all borrowed items, arrange my room neatly, and place books, diary, wristwatch, pens, and music CDs in one drawer. I also ensure that I never lent out my items to strangers and set specific return dates for all items lent out. In all, I managed to overcome my forgetfulness.
Ideas toward solution of this problem
The ideas that I gathered as I sought to overcome forgetfulness included:
- Labeling items whose position one easily forgets. This could aid in making it easy to sight the items.
- Strategic placement of the items such as near doors as this can aid in easy sighting of the items prone to misplacement.
- Placing all items prone to misplacement in one place say a drawer
- Putting alarms and reminders on a mobile phone set to ring after say 30 minutes which raise alarm and indicate where a certain item was last found
- Filing to lend out any other item until one can remember and recover all items that have been lent out
- Maintaining a record of all items lent out
- Organizing my room to look neat and well arranged at all times
- Placing a sticker on a wall or behind the door of the possible places that certain items should be search from
- Pinching myself whenever I forget or misplace an item thrice in a day
- Asking people at home and at school to observe where I keep my items and to whom I lend. They should supply me with that information whenever I need it
The two ideas that are the most imaginative, original, and positive potential solutions to the problem
The two most creative ideas are (1) Organizing my room to look neat and well arranged at all times (2) maintaining a record of all items borrowed or lent out. I think that these strategies can help me to overcome forgetfulness and are every sustainable for the future. They are bound to save me a lot of time, are cheap and they do not need me to bother anybody. Although I may find it hard to be very well organized, and to maintain an updated record of borrowings, I am sure I will find get used to it and do it effortlessly.
Ruggiero V. (2009) The Art of Thinking: A Guide to Critical and Creative Thought, Ninth Edition. Longman. Pearson Education, Inc
Brandenberg, C. (2006). Fixing Forgetfulness. Scientific American Mind, 17(2), 82-83.
Wiles, J., & Wiles, J. (2010). The memory book: everyday habits for a healthy memory. Pymble, N.S.W.: ABC Books.