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Kludge, Jugaad, Gung-ho: how to get really good at improvising

A TED talk I watched the other day made me realize something great: I am not alone in coming up with improvised solutions every day. In fact, all around the world companies, governments and individuals are learning to do more with less. Are you ready to learn about your attitude to improvising?

1. Perhaps life-hacking is not your thing

Not everyone enjoys impromptu solutions or thinking on the spot. This is also a valuable lesson to learn about yourself. Just because a term is popular – or because everyone else around you seems to enjoy doing it – it doesn’t mean that you have to pick it up as well.
I have prepared a BRAVE Academy worksheet to help you think deeper about the role of plans, improvisation and spontaneity in your life. This kind of thing takes a while, and your attitude may change – so take a few days to really think about how you complete it.

2. Think horizontally

One of the most important lessons from the TED talk – don’t just rely on getting bigger, more specialized, solving a problem with a narrow set of solutions. What else is there? Who else did this before? How can the problem be seen by others? In order to improvise, these questions should be sought, and actively asked – they may not offer ready answers, but the trick here is to keep searching and thinking until a new, creative perspective opens up.

3. Get a hobby

Working on something “on the side” helps you feel better about yourself. It increases your productivity. And when it comes to fixing, improvising and coming up with stuff on the spot, it becomes an enjoyable, low-stakes environment in which to try things.
I’ve been blogging and running websites since 2011. It is a fantastic way to learn about how web pages work (and, more often, how they DON’T) – and although it frustrates me sometimes, it’s still not my job – so anything I come up with is my own, and not hugely important.

4. Enjoy the ride!

Another TED talk to help you here: thinking about the power of “yet.” Whenever something breaks down or is in need of a fix, it’s more helpful to think of it as a situation that’s “not working yet,” or a problem that “hasn’t been solved yet.” This underscores the journey you took to reach this place – and the potential for you to take it further. Much healthier, in many cases, than emphasising the fact that “it’s broken,” or “I can’t fix this.”

5. Any more ideas?

If you think you’re good at learning and nurturing creative fixes, let us know. BRAVE now rocks on Twitter and Facebook – it would be good to see you there.


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