What do you do when you have too many ideas and not enough time?
In this post, I will provide you with an practical framework to deal with your many ideas; and help you minimise stress and increase focus.
Before rushing into work, you jot down good ideas from popular podcasts you just heard and would love to explore later. You do this everyday until you realise, your to-do list has grown considerably as you consume and note fascinating and innovative solutions from these remarkable people.
Suddenly you’re less excited about putting interesting things you learnt on your to-do list. The guilt of your overgrown to-do list is overwhelming, so you start avoiding it.
Long list anxiety is psychologically torture, especially if you have limited time to execute them.
But you can’t stop having good ideas, this is so frustrating and is generally dealt with incorrectly.
In 5 simple steps you will feel less stressed and more focused in executing ideas that excite you.
So what do you do?
Step 1 : Get inspired, don't stop consuming interesting articles.
Listening to podcasts or reading interesting articles, help keep you informed on what is going on in your field - Don't get left behind.
Also podcasters and bloggers are generous with their knowledge. I think of them as Knowledge Saints - generally, incredibly specific, energetic and interesting.
Listening to podcasts in the morning, helps prime me with new ideas and perspectives. I wouldn’t swap this time for anything. It’s my sacred morning coaching session.
Step 2: Don't stop making notes of things that interest you.
Chances are you will never go back to an old podcast episode, so having notes can help jolt your memory on important things you discovered that day.
- So if something pops into your mind that was fascinating - Make a note of it.
- If you discover a new concept - Make a note of it
- Anything and everything that excites you - Make a note of it.
Don’t use a To-Do List
Place your notes in an application (not a To-Do list Application ) or notepad under this heading “Interesting Insights”.
Do not put your notes in your To-Do list inbox, because it create undue anxiety.
All you need is somewhere you can quickly store a brain dump, and have a way of finding it when you need to.
There is no emotional or psychological burden with having an interesting insights repository of information. It can be a one way box or you can check into it from time to time. That’s completely up to you.
Step 3: Check what’s Trending
If you do occasionally check your interesting insights you will notice trends in what you enjoy and what gets you excited.
You can use this for your new side project or you can start incorporating this new idea into your side project in some way.
For example, I noticed that I been flagging many articles about writing more engaging content. One article suggested using storytelling, so I incorporated it into my side project (this post) and made the intro a story.
The idea here is to check through your insights and see what is consistently catching your attention. Then, and only then, do you execute them.
Step 4: Choose 1 Trending Idea
From your list interesting trending ideas, choose 1 idea that really excites you. This idea should jump at you and get you saying ‘Hell yeah’, if it doesn’t then it's a ‘No’.
Step 5: Execute it
Now that you have have an idea, it's time to bring it to life and share it with the world.
Take 5 minutes to review your to-do list and apply this framework. What is your 1 trending idea that you want to execute?