New ideas can be hard to come by and yet conversely, sometimes they can be overwhelming.
I’m lucky at the moment that they just keep coming, but finding a way of organising them and picking out the ones that will work is vital to make sure they don’t go to waste.
This is how I manage my idea overload.
I’m not the most organised person, but I make sure that when something pops into my head I note it down straight away. I find the best way to do this is on ‘notes’ in my phone – it’s always somewhere close to hand and it won’t be accidentally thrown away like a scrap of paper.
I’d say at least once a week I set some time aside to collate everything. I have recently started using Trello to organise all the ideas in a cohesive way. I started out just using it as a ‘to do list’ type app but really it’s so much more versatile than that, and as it’s online I can access it from anywhere.
Sort them all out into categories – it helps if they’re as specific as they can be – for example I had to split my greetings cards ideas into single card ideas and collection ideas.
Now obviously, unless you are a super genius, not every single little idea you have is going to be a total winner, so don’t spend too much time on this bit, but just take a second to work out what you think you could do with it, a miniature brainstorm. Think about its potential, and how you would make it work.
So, having spent a minute or two expanding on it, ask yourself a few questions:
Is it a really good idea?
Some of the ideas I write down at 2am just don’t make sense in the real world. If you’re just not that into it, there’s no shame in not following it through?
Is it the right time for it now?
Maybe you can set some time aside for it in July, maybe it’s for a certain season, or maybe your business isn’t quite ready for it yet.
Do you have time to bring it to life right now?
Writing a book? Sounds great, but can you fit it in?
Is it worth making time for it?
Is this the one idea that will get you noticed? If you really think this could be a game changer it may be worth clearing some of your schedule.
If not now, when would this work?
Think about when you could plan it in. If you really do want to do it, try and give it a specific block of time, whether it be ‘Next Tuesday I will do this‘ or ‘In September I will set a week aside for research + development.‘ Just not ‘when I’m not busy…‘ that never happens.
So now, you should be able to go for it – or at least have a good idea when you’ll be bringing your ideas to life. Oh, and, those ones that don’t make the cut? File them away. Keep an ‘unused ideas’ list – maybe they will never be good ideas but sometimes having a scan through might prompt you to come up with something that does work.
I hope this helps and you have a wonderful time organising the products of your mind.
I used to be a stress head. Waitressing totally cured me of that. If you’re busy, there are 20 things you need to do in the next 10 minutes constantly ticking over in your brain – the only way to deal with that is to keep focused, prioritise things and work through your list. Over & over again.
Wow, I have lived a sheltered life. There is A LOT going on out in the big bad world, and working in a big restaurant you witness first hand how interconnected your lives all become, and in turn how much drama goes down. Some people do love the drama.
I once worked with a waiter who would refuse to write anything down, claiming he was some kind of super genius who could remember the drinks, food and side orders of tables of 10 without writing it down. Inevitably, things go wrong, and when they do, having a note scrawled somewhere can save your little socks. Even now, when I sit down to work for the day I grab a dog eared piece of scrap paper and scrawl a list of all the projects I’m working on and anything else I need to remember – sure, I’ve got wunderlist (which by the way is great), and infinite numbers of apps that are supposed to organise my brain, but a scrap of paper is just RIGHT THERE in front of me.