Creativity technique: Sentence completion

Our marvelous brains love closure. Give them an open-ended question or statement, and they will work overtime to come up with answers. Tim, writing in The Nub Weblog, calls this technique "sentence completion." Here's how it works...

Our marvelous brains love closure. Give them an open-ended question or statement, and they will work overtime to come up with answers. The Nub Weblog (cited by Curt Rosengren in The Occupational Adventure Weblog – thanks, Curt!) calls it “sentence completion,” and it’s a powerful creative thinking technique. Here’s how it works, in the words of Tim at The Nub:

“1) Take any issue you want to consider. E.g: your relationship with your kids or partner; your relationships at work; your project; your time; your stress — ANYTHING.

2) Now create a sentence stem that focuses on your issue. E.g. If I want to improve my time effectiveness by 5% I must…

3) Then complete the sentence between 6-10 times. Don’t get fixed too long trying to say the right thing, if in doubt, invent – just make sure the ending is grammatically correct.

Example endings could be: If I want to improve my time effectiveness by 5% I must…
…get up 30 minutes earlier
…set deadlines
…get to bed earlier
…organise my desk
…stick to my decisions
…accept that I can’t do everything
…keep in mind why I am doing something”

I’ve been using open-ended questions — similar to this technique — for years, and it works very well!

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