Designers Use the 5 Second Rule for Idea Generation

  1. Do you ever struggle to remember your design ideas?

  2. Ever feel too busy to write down a brilliant idea?

  3. Do you get your best ideas whilst busy with other things?

No More Pixels quote image of a broken clock to explain a graphic design idea.

We tend to think of the best ideas at terrible times.

Which is no good if we are trying to remember a brilliant idea whilst we are in the middle of ten different things. But there is a simple way to try and avoid this and take small actions on your ideas as quickly as possible.

The 5 second rule is a great way to up your creative execution when it comes to idea generation out and about. The main idea for it is that you have 5 seconds to take action on your idea otherwise you have lost it forever.

A No More Pixels image of the 5 second rule to explain how to use it in design.

The 5 second rule is so simple. Think of an idea whether you are busy or not and take action immediately! Some of the easiest and best ways to take action are to write a note or repeat the idea to yourself so you take a mental note of it. These are the easiest as they require less action without trying to fully explain your idea but will allow you to remember your thought pattern later on.

We use the 5 second rule when designing content for our social media channels and brand as it allows us to maximise every idea we get. Whether we take action or not is a different story. Some ideas are good, some ideas are bad. But having them all in one place allows you to choose what ones to use. Without constantly forgetting what you wanted to talk about or plan.

We first read about this idea from the great author Mel Robbins, who explains and exercises a brilliant range of mind improving techniques. Check out the book on Amazon for more information. It's a great read and really effective for saving time in design.

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