Last week I challenged you to actively look for problems to solve – whether on your commute, at the airport, in your kitchen, or anywhere you spot something that seems to be broken or lacking in experience.

This week I was having drinks with friends. Our table was under a tree and little seeds kept falling from the tree into our drinks. This went on for about 10 minutes and I kept using a spoon to fish the seeds out of our drinks. Then, I think I subconsciously got sick of it and I just took a napkin, put it over each drink as a cover and then created a little hole for the straw. It was ugly. But it was clever and kept the seeds out.

I was talking to a few UX friends last week and the topic of brainstorming came up. I don’t love brainstorming because I’m not naturally creative on demand. I like to think about a problem for a while and then come up with the solution. But, by practicing coming up with solutions on the spot, I’m a lot more comfortable with brainstorming that I used to be.

So if you struggle with brainstorming or whiteboarding, make it a point to actively spot and solve problems in your day-to-day life. I promise it will strengthen your creativity and it will translate into ideas you have for the products you’re designing.

Practice will never make perfect. But practice breeds confidence and confidence breeds creativity.

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