There are plenty of times when being a little more creative could benefit you in your job—whether you work in a creative field or not. But sometimes, the ideas just don’t come when you need them. Sometimes, you need a little something to help get your brain juices flowing.

We’ve got just the thing—Tom Kelley and David Kelley, leaders at IDEO, came up with a series of creativity exercises for Harvard Business Review. Our favorite? A quick exercise that anyone can do with just a pen and paper.

Here’s the gist—download the worksheet below and print it off. Then, set a timer for three minutes and get sketching. Your goal is to fill in as many of the circles (with somewhat recognizable objects) as you can during that time.

It may sound simple, but you’ll find after you get through the obvious basketballs and smiley faces of the world, you’ll have to start thinking a little differently to fill in the rest of the circles. You could even do it in a group with some of your other co-workers and get inspired by how other people approach the challenge!

Either way, it’s sure to leave your brain feeling a little looser at the end—and ready to tackle whatever challenge you have in front of you.

Download Worksheet

Photo of umbrellas courtesy of Shutterstock.

Updated 6/19/2020