Combine things in new ways

Cast your mind back for a moment to lesson 3, where we discussed the topic of “How creativity works“. In that lesson, we found that creative thinking is merely the combining of two or more ideas that haven’t been combined/considered before. Let’s try combining some of the things in your real-world to create new and original thinking.


What to do

First, let me give you a quick example of how we can easily combine ideas to create something new:

You’ve fallen behind at work. Needing to be done are:

  • Visit with client;
  • Training of staff;
  • Have lunch;
  • Delegate some tasks;
  • Return some emails and calls.

Creative combinations that may be worth considering are?

  • Take the client to lunch;
  • Take staff to lunch and train and delegate as you eat;
  • Take a staff member to the client visit/lunch as a training exercise;
  • Ask the staff member to drive while you email, phone and delegate;
  • Or even further combine the above options.

Some quick examples:

  • You desperately need a holiday but your partner has to work . . . holiday near where they work, or, maybe your partner can work from (holiday) home for a week;
  • You need to generate more income as a student, but you also need more time to study . . . get a job that offers work experience in your field of study;
  • It’s time for your workout but one of the kids has a problem with schoolwork . . . take the child to the gym and discuss as you train;
  • You need to spend more “getting familiar” time with clients, family, and staff, and also get exercise . . . start and sponsor a recreational sporting team.

You can combine people and/or objects and/or tasks and/or hopes etc etc. Sometimes combining things can have valuable outcomes as a recent experience of mine will demonstrate.


As you probably know by now, I am writing my first book and I’ve given myself some incredibly HUGE expectations and a relatively short time to achieve them. I needed to combine my tasks creatively for advantage.

These are the tasks I combined.

  • Writing my first book;
  • Communication and interaction with my editor;
  • Presentation and access for my sample readers;
  • Build and promote my marketing strategy;
  • Add significant “keyword” optimization copy to this website; and
  • Drive traffic to this website for optimization reasons.

I creatively combined these tasks resulting in a superior outcome.

Instead of using Dropbox to keep my files, manage all the copy, everything is now written, edited and communicated through this website (on hidden pages).

How I achieved this was I built web pages to load the manuscript onto. All additional writing, editing and sample reading is only done by opening web pages. Google will see a lot of visitor activity which is good for optimization. The various copy I’ve uploaded added nearly 150,000 words of excellent copy laced with keywords ideal for my optimization.

The pages are NOT on my menu, and can only be found if I supply links. Editor and sample readers offering comment now use the comments section at the bottom of the web page.

The saving in time is enormous. I have literally saved hundreds of hours writing keyword copy and time on other optimization needs.

Creative combinations are a powerful tool that you should employ at every opportunity.


Throw some ideas, demands, objects etc that are important to you together and see what you can make that is new and innovative by combining them in different ways. (N.B. The issues I bundled together above were related to each other, but they don’t necessarily have to be).

Some examples:

  • Workplace – Meetings, training, admin, clients, equipment and stationery, rosters, emails, phone calls, travel.
  • From home – Dinner, shopping, school meeting, cleaning, picking up the kids, homework, gardening ballet class and soccer training.

Your list of things that you might consider combining will depend on your own personal circumstances. Write them down now, and see what you can come up with.


I want to hear about how you go. Please use the comments section below to tell me how you combined something to advantage.

Preparation for Lesson 14

Creative memory technique

In lesson 14, I will be imparting a creative memory technique to help you remember the key points of this course so that you can discuss them without the need of taking notes. It is called “Memory Pegging”, and it is a creative filing system for your brain that can be used over, and over, and over again.

Please put the following rhymes firmly into your memory. Keep rehearsing/repeating them until you can recall them easily without advanced notice.

One – run.

Two – zoo

Three – tree

Four – door

Five – hive

Six – sick

Seven – Heaven

Eight – gate

Nine – wine

Ten – den

It will make sense on the day, you should trust me on that point. Ha!

That’s it for today.

Today has been my favorite day so far, do you know why? Because today I just shortened my journey to publishing success and prominence by months by creatively combining some of the huge tasks ahead of me. I’m so excited about my lateral thinking derived discovery that I’m going to put it into place NOW! (Or start to anyway.)

Lateral thinking lesson 11 – summary

Combining things creatively generates original new thinking and advantage.


So where we are up to?

Three things you now understand about the creative process are:

  1. Creative thinking is merely the combining of two or more ideas that haven’t been combined/considered before;
  2. Our education and life experiences can often lead to a “blinkered” viewpoint; and
  3. Never be afraid to defy the experts. Experts are often reduced to being cogs stuck in the machinery of their own expertise.

Creative thinking/lateral thinking skills that you can now use are:

  1. Random starting points;
  2. Considering the viewpoints/perspectives of others;
  3. Challenging the status quo by asking “why?”
  4. Look off the path of dominant thinking;
  5. Backwards planning for achieving goals;
  6. Setting goals of passion;
  7. Creative speaking; and
  8. Creative combinations.


Please remember to discuss, share, practice and teach what you have learned here.

These free lateral thinking lessons are brought to you by Michael John Muxworthy

Michael Muxworthy Sci-fi Novel
Coming soon – Michael Muxworthy

2 thoughts on “Lesson 11 – Creative Combinations

  1. This is one of my favourite lessons! Thank you!

    As a busy, professional working mum, I’ve already used creative combinations for soooo many things:

    * Going for a walk around the park while my son is soccer training
    * Calling my friends/family while I’m driving to/from work
    * Call my boss for a morning check in while I’m driving to work
    * While my car is in for service, offer one of my employees my car space
    * Test my son’s spelling while we’re cooking dinner together
    * Invited my co-worker to join me in a random starting point exercise for a real client brief

    There are too many to list….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s