It looks like we have enough folks to support an Ideaholics Support Group. I didn't quite expect that. But, I find it really cool to know that I'm not on my own.
It was also interesting to read everyone's strategies on how you manage all the ideas that come to you. And, as promised, I will share as much of my own strategies as I can. And, here's one that I'd like to share with you right now...
It’s no secret: I’m a serial skill collector. I used to loathe the idea of being unable to “stick to one thing”, as people get all confused by such a situation in our niche-driven society. But, I’ve given up on having One Ultimate Passion.
I’m always going to want to learn new things. I’m always going to try and acquire new skills. I’m always going to be interested in a myriad of subjects.
Some people may consider this “lifelong learning”. Some may have not-so-nice names about such a thing. Me... Well, I you know that I refer to it as having a True Renaissance Soul.
However, even though I may have accepted this way of life, I am still prone to resisting the urge to fully give in to ‘the renaissance way’.
When a new idea comes up, I fight it with all my might. Telling it to go away, using a plethora of reasons in my arsenal -
• I have enough on my plate;
• I don’t have the time;
• It’s too expensive to start a new idea/hobby/project;
• There is such a thing as doing too much...
And on and on it goes...
But, the more I fight, the more I get antsy. I find it difficult to move in my existing projects. In fact, I even get all strange in my day-to-day life (as in, stranger than usual! ;-)).
So, I came up with: “60 Days to Something”.
This basically gives me ‘permission’ to give in to whatever “Obsession of the Moment” that I may have at any given time. Instead of fighting my yet another project-in-the-making, I decided that if an idea persists with me long enough, I will give it permission to come to life. Giving it 60 Days for a chance to make something of it.
If I lose steam within 60 days, that’s fine. I’ll just hang it in my “Project Ideas Archive”.
If I actually get to do something with it in 60 days, then it can go in my “Renaissance Soul Museum of Life”. It’s where I’ll collect whatever project I have that gets some kind of “completion” within 60 days. Completion may come in whatever way I can muster in that time limit.
And, if I decide to push through with the idea past 60 days, then I know that it’s a “keeper” of an idea. Worth investing more time, money, and energy in, if I’m really keen.
But yeah, to start with, I can give any given obsession/idea a chance to flourish within 60 Days. During this incubation-action period, I should be able to work within these guidelines:
1. Just say yes to any idea that persists. Yes, all ideas that seem to want to stay. Don’t overthink it. Don’t overanalyse. Just say yes - then put it on the 60 Days Plan.
2. Identify why you like this idea. Then, make a list of what you wish to get out of this idea. For example, if the brilliant idea is all about learning how to play the violin - identify why you want to learn it. Then, identify at least one thing that you wish to get out of learning it (e.g., be able to play at least three chords/notes). Make sure that one thing is ‘doable’ - not impossible!
3. The new project may be given a set budget to start with, depending on complexity and available funds. During these 60 days, no additional expense should be made for this new project. New budget may be given when the idea stays for longer than 60 days.
4. With time and money plans in place, list down the top activities/priorities that need to be done to get the idea in to action. Some sample activities/priorities may include: enroll in a class, buy/borrow and read a book (or other resource), contact a person and talk to that person, do a feasibility study, etc.
5. Choose one of those activities/priorities in the list and get working on it. Try it - then, move on the next when the time is right.
6. Track your progress. Keep a log, if possible.
7. Evaluate - and decide where the project/idea is headed.
So, there you go. My “60 Days to Something” plan. Let’s see how this one works out!
Background image source: Photoexpress.com (zulla)
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.