Here is the best way to start being more creative and complete with the work that you do: Write Everything Down. Whether you are managing follow-ups after an important meeting, catching that last crazy idea you had before you fall asleep, or coming up with a new insight that will help you close the deal, writing everything down is the first step to making that happen. From task management to idea generation, writing things down lets you save your best creative ideas, and respond to actionable items.
I think that that in many creative tasks quantity leads to quality. But rather than viewing the idea collection process as an on-demand process, view it as a constantly ongoing one. This both relieves pressure and allows you to capture an idea when it strikes. I probably write down one hundred ideas a day. Then when you need to see the list of ideas you had on a topic, you pull up your list rather than trying to generate them on the spot. This allows brainstorming to happen at the most natural times.
You’ll write down many ideas which you will discard later. But by writing everything down you’ll have access to all the greatest ideas that you’ve come up with that you would have normally forgotten.
When I’m having a great engaging conversation, or a off-the-wall brainstorm, there will always be a moment where I realize or someone will say, ‘Hey this is a great idea!’ And that is usually where the idea would be forgotten. But instead, write it down. Write it on your phone. Or on a piece of paper. Or email it to yourself. But find a way to collect your ideas. The review and prioritization process is a story for another time, but start by writing things down.
I write down errands, crazy ideas for our company, todos, interesting thoughts, seeds of jokes, things I want to write about, quick follow ups and more. If I didn’t write things down I would lose most of them. But I’ll go back later and find gems of ideas which are very exciting.
In Getting Things Done, David Allen recommend that clear your mind to think about things rather than think of things. Writing things down offloads the todo list to paper, allows you to capture your best ideas, and not miss key tasks.
Try it out. The next time you have the spark of an idea, write it down. Then try doing that 50 times a day. What do you think?
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