You can improve your idea creation and problem solving skills by adjusting your thinking habits in one specific way.
Most people think linearly - adding one concept to another step by step. This is a slow and ineffective way of thinking.
The following technique can improve the speed of your mind and stop you from being limited by this dead-end-creating thinking method. The technique involves looking at things from an overall perspective.
To give you an example, imagine if you were to pick up a textbook and read it all the way through from start to finish. You might understand it and you will probably learn a lot from it. However, what if you were to first take a good look at the table of contents? Absorb the whole structure of the book from an overall perspective. Look at the main sections first, then the chapters, and then the parts inside the chapters.
Before you even begin reading the book you can gain an overall appreciation for the subject that gives you an advantage when you actually read it. You will be more aware of the context of each topic within the book, so you may find that you understand it better than you would if you had merely read from cover to cover. This is how super concepts should work in your mind.
When a concept forms in your mind, look at it from an overall perspective. By this we mean look at it from as many angles as possible, ask questions about it, ensure that you fully understand its meaning, its context, and its implications.
If you have a difficult subject, study the overview of it first, making sure you understand it. Then go into the next level of complexity and make sure you understand each section before moving on. If you can't understand it, break it down further. If you break it down as far as you can yet you still can't understand what you're learning, that usually means there is a fundamental gap in your knowledge which prevents you from totally grasping it. In this case, you can simply research into this topic, repeating the techniques of overview, breakdown, and understanding.
By seeing things from an overall perspective rather than a linear one, you will also possess the ability to absorb so much more data. This is because you will just need to remember the top overall concept, and your subconscious will remember the rest!
Let me illustrate. If I said to you the word "tree", first you might think of the branches, trunk, roots, etc. From that you could think about leaves, bark, sap, buds, flowers if any, and even the soil in which it grows. You could then think about the tree's photosynthesis process - how it takes in sunlight for energy, then the reproduction process, its growth process, and other scientific proven processes which you could then break down even further into simple explanations. From all this, form relationships between all these smaller parts.
You see, from that one overall perspective word, tree, your mind can now recall vast amounts of information and knowledge. In a way, it's sort of a mind filing system. However, it is a sophisticated filing system similar to a relational database. It's a system that includes data relationships, rules, a query facility, and most importantly, the computing power of the human brain that can perform calculations, observations, and deductions on all the information.
These "data relationships" are how the smaller parts relate to each other and to the structures to which they are a part. For example, in your mind is the trunk which relates to the branches which relate to the twigs which relate to the leaves and buds, and so forth.
"Rules" apply to how you personally set up your method of data extraction and how you apply that overall knowledge. Rules are basic guidelines that help you to think more efficiently. We all use rules, but we typically don't realize that we are using them.
The "query facility" is the mechanism your mind employs to search for, retrieve and store your memory files, and how it pulls the necessary information from other topics together to complete the request or query that you instigated.
Using this way of organizing information in your mind, you will now find your idea creation much more powerful. This is because your brain is working on all of the concepts at the same time. Seeing the overall picture, you can make individual deductions from each of the parts and integrate them together.
In contrast, the linear method of looking at a single concept at a time will make it difficult to make these kinds of connections.
In addition, this technique is useful for problem solving. Rather than linearly working your way through a problem, gather as much information about it as you can first. Draw the solution as a diagram, either in your head or on paper, rather than a list of answers. More answers will present themselves when you focus on an overall perspective than if you were to analyze one concept in depth, then another.
Remember, brainstorms are diagrams that branch from a central point. They aren't merely a list, they branch off and they also link together.
A Powerful New Mind
Don't focus on one concept at a time, try and get the overall picture. This will allow you to keep the information organized, vastly increasing your brain's ability to cope with the new knowledge.
With the concepts organized, you will be able to access them easily, see relationships between them, form new relationships between them, and also see gaps in your knowledge. Your memory will be greatly improved, your mind will be able to cope with far more complex concepts, and you will have the ability to build on these concepts, creating new ideas.