How to boost your creativity while you are driving

When it comes to driving habits most of us confess to listening to music, even getting angry with other motorists but few of us take advantage of the great opportunity behind the wheel – to think up new ideas.

Some 81% of drivers in a new AA/Populus survey of drivers confess to having ideas while they are driving, yet only 19% take action and make note of them.

According to Edmund King, the AA’s president this is a great wasted opportunity: “It’s
the creative equivalent of winning the pools but not bothering to cash the cheque!”

To help drivers make the most of the creative opportunity while driving, the AA has teamed up with leading creativity expert Andy Green of the Flexible Thinking Forum to offer a free guide, The AA’s seven point ‘Think and Drive’ plan to transform Britain’s drivers’ creative thinking’.

A car journey is one of those increasingly rare moments where you are not intensely focussing your personal attention on talking to other people, the telly, the mobile phone, or the computer.

“Our brains have got this great ability to multi-task: while you are concentrating on your driving and focussing on making sure you arrive safely at your destination, your brain can also be working in a background mode on many other things. By letting your unconscious mind ‘incubate’ on a problem it will generate some of your best quality ideas – as long as you remember to capture them!” says Edmund King, the AA’s president.

The AA survey among 21,000 drivers also revealed how motorists higher-up the social scale were more likely to both make plans or have ideas during their journey, while also ensuring to make a note of any creative thoughts.

Younger drivers under 34 tended to be in the majority in making plans or having ideas in their journey, but were among the least diligent in following-up and making note of any new thoughts.

Drivers in Northern Ireland led the way in both being creative by making a note of any new ideas, but were also among the least inspired when behind the wheel, with some 20% of drivers there confessing to not having any ideas while driving.

The survey also revealed that while driving alone 89% listen to the radio or CDs, and nearly a third get annoyed with the traffic or other drivers.

The AA ‘Do Think and Drive’  tips for boosting your creativity while driving includes:

1. Define your problem as a question. Then challenge yourself to ask better quality questions.
2. Forget about your question. Concentrate on your driving.
3. Add variety to your journey.
4. Use unfamiliar triggers on your journey to nudge your thinking.
5. Capture your ideas, otherwise they will disappear, often forgotten forever.
6. Keep your ideas in your own ‘Ideas Log book’.
7. Congratulate yourself on completing your journey safely while also making full use of the creative opportunity. Go on with your day in a positive frame of mind.

The free guide is available from:

Commenting on the launch of the new guide Andy Green says: “All of us need new ideas to
cope in these difficult times. You can drive safely and at the same time, by using our guide, transform your creative potential to put you in the driving seat in your life.”

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