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Too Many Ideas, Not Enough Time — 14 Comments

  1. I think you were speaking directly to me! Seriously, I constantly have so many ideas for programs and challenges and marketing etc etc… there are some days I’m quite sure which way to turn or rather which direction would my time be best spent. I have heard of Evernote but never tried it. Right now I use Wunderlist, but it sounds like Evernote may be better. Thanks for the wonderful post!

    • I used Wunderlist for a while several years ago, but never really got in the habit of it. About a year ago, I stumbled onto Asana, which has some similar features, but I like TONS better. But both tools are really for task or project management. Evernote is the place to store ALL of your writing, plus links to those interesting PDFs you’ve downloaded but haven’t read, and images, and… well you get the idea. And the search feature makes it easy to find everything that you have on a particular topic because it searches the contents as well as the titles, so it will find everything on your search term, even if it’s just a short sentence inside one of your longer notes.

  2. This is a fabulous post Lesa! A really detailed way at taking your ideas and running them through a “stress” test to see which ones to pursue and how to take them from idea to fruition. I’m working with a collaborative partner right now and he always amazes me how he takes a simple starting point of a wonderful idea and flushes out the idea with all the necessary details and next steps to keep it moving forward. And of course we look at all of the points in-between the “great idea” to the bringing it too reality. I’m definitely learning a lot as I work alongside him and either of these projects are my creative dream! Appreciate your highly valuable insights for us all to consider!

    • It sounds like your collaborative partner is either naturally organized or has developed a great system. In either case, I recommend that as you work with him, you try to learn his system so you can apply the same process to projects you work on without him.

  3. Great post. Most of the time my ideas pop up while I’m driving. By time I write them down, they dont seem so exciting. Not sure what to do about this, but maybe nothing is needed. I love what we do & how we do it. I do think about blog topics, rather than projects, or new graphics & of course jewelry designs.

    • It sounds like you are losing your excitement in the delay between the inspiration and writing the idea down. That’s why I recommend that you write down your idea and as many details as possible as soon as you can…. the longer you delay, the more fuzzy the idea can become. How about using your phone to record a message to yourself? That way, you can catalog your idea sooner, but don’t have to wait until you are near a writing device.

  4. The first tip for the Project Idea Selection took me back to my corporate world days, Lesa, when we used to provide training in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to our corporate clients and the rule of thumb for working out the proposal was to first work out the presentation time and then double it for the preparation time to get a real feel for the amount of time and billable hour that would be spent customizing the training for the industry specific client.

    Of course we didn’t charge the entire amount but it helped the Partner and Manager decide on other key points which were similar to the tips you have provided to determine a quote that would be a win win for both sides. Using the training as a future lead generator was also a consideration.

    • One of the consequences of under-estimating the time it will take to develop a project is that we often steal time from that which was meant for marketing. However, this diminishes the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, which may lead you to doubt the value in your product. Giving yourself a cushion for over-runs in your project development will help the rest of your business run more smoothly. Glad to see that this strategy has been used in the corporate world, at least at the company you worked for, Vatsala. I think most of the time, these inevitable project delays get blamed on the employees (see the cartoon Dilbert for lots of examples).

  5. This was such a helpful post. Writing down your plans and really thinking about them and asking yourself the right questions is crucial – not only to determine if you are on track, but to stay on track when all the distractions come knocking. I love the ‘save for later’ folder idea and will start doing that from now on instead of throwing out plans I can’t use right now.

    • Once you start saving your “not right now” ideas for later, Tamuria, I think you’ll discover that you are a lot more brilliant that you ever imagined. Our egos often judge ourselves harshly, but when add the distance of time between the inspiration for the idea and giving that idea a critical look (by pulling it out of the “later” folder), we can look at the idea with the same eyes we look at ideas that other people come up with.

  6. I am also guilty of too many ideas popping in my head! I’m writing some of them down but more often than not I do not act upon them.

    I used to be upset about this but since you’re saying you had this blog post in some form years ago, perhaps this is what’s going to happen at some point with old ideas I have. They will either resurface or not.

    Just have to make peace with that – because I feel sorry about those poor ideas that don’t get picked 🙂

    • Since I do write down so many of my ideas — not all, though, even I can do better — I can confidently tell you, Delia, that many of your most brilliant ideas won’t “resurface” later. An idea will come to you out of inspiration, or spirit, or the Universe, or God, or wherever, and you get one opportunity to capture it, like a living, breathing, wild creature. If you capture it, either by pulling it into your everyday consciousness by working on it immediately — OR by writing it down — it will stay in your orbit. However, if you don’t take any action to capture that wild creature, it will wander off to find a different home in another creative mind.

      As a creative thinker, you can always have new ideas; it’s not like you are going to run out! But when you get into the habit of writing down the ideas as they come to you, I think that what you discover is that the WORK of launching your ideas becomes, well, less work, because you actually build the BIG IDEA one little idea at a time. For example, when putting this blog post together, I followed my own advice and looked through my “ideas for later” folder and discovered I had an outline for a free call that I can use to market my upcoming Blogging for Business Course. Sure, I could have created that call from scratch, but since I don’t have to, I’m free to spend that time on other aspects of launching my course.

      Try writing down more of your ideas. I think you might be surprised at what you discover… you might even discover that you are much more brilliant than you realized!

  7. Hi Lesa,

    As always an interesting read. I agree with your points as I have personally tried this & I appreciate your efforts that you have selected this topic to write an article.

    By the way, It’s always pleasure to read your posts and comment.

    ~ Donna

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