I thought this would be really useful for everyone. We all have brilliant ideas that were lost or forgotten because we failed to jot them down or organise them well.
Here’s a great article on how to make sure you keep those ideas and actually act on them.
Organize Your Ideas…
and Then Start Implementing Them
by Maria Gracia
Do you have so many ideas floating around in your head that you are having trouble keeping track of them? Are you having trouble knowing where to start? Here are some ideas to take away the feeling of chaos and help you to organize and implement the wealth of ideas you have.
1. The first thing we need to do is get all of these ideas out of our head and onto paper. Don’t worry about organizing it yet, just do what is called a `brain dump’. Write down every idea–don’t try to do more than get them out of your brain and onto paper.
2. Once you have gotten your ideas down on paper, it’s time to start to categorize them. Your categories will be specific to you and your situation but could include home decorating, home improvements, craft projects, social activities, family vacations, business projects, and so on. Don’t try to do anything more than brainstorm categories for now.
3. Now that you’ve listed your categories, use different colored highlighters to mark each category a different color. Once you have a different color for each category, it’s time to start going through your list of ideas. Decide which category you think each idea fits into, and then highlight it with the corresponding color. Don’t worry if you have ideas that don’t fit any of your categories. We’ll deal with that next.
4. For those ideas that don’t fit your existing categories, let them be your guide for additional categories. Some additional categories might include self-improvement, health goals, etc. Self-improvement may include continuing education, learning a new skill or hobby or completing a college degree. You can make your categories as broad or as narrow as you choose. Making them a bit broader eliminates having too many categories.
5. Your categories can now be transferred to a notebook, index cards, folders in your file cabinet, or on your computer or PDA. With the color coding on your original brain dump page you should have no trouble listing the ideas in the correct category. Remember that this is for you–so make it work for you.
6. Now that you’ve categorized your ideas, it’s time to start implementing them. Some of your ideas can be moved to a daily or weekly `TA-DA’ list. Now you’ll notice that it is a TA-DA list not a To-Do list. TA-DA is what we say when we complete something. It’s a simple way to change the way we think. The connotation of To-Do is undone. The connotation of TA-DA is DONE!
7. Are some of your ideas a bit more complex? For example, if one of your ideas is to redecorate your bedroom, you will need several steps to complete it. It may seem a bit overwhelming, but if you break these ideas down into small steps, you’ll have every one of them on your TA-DA list before you know it!
8. Are some of your ideas longer term goals like completing your degree? Start by not only listing the steps required to complete them, AND include a time line for completion. Many times we put off doing something like this because we want to wait for available time. Something will fill that time regardless, you might as well fill it with something that will help you to accomplish your goals. Decide that it is important, and do it.
9. As you work through your list of ideas in each category, don’t cross them out as you complete them. Instead, highlight each one as it is completed. When we look at a list of crossed out items, it makes it hard to see what we have completed and what is left to be completed. A list that has some items highlighted however is an instant upbeat and bright note of TA-DA items.
10. Think of your categories as living documents. As living documents they will change as you complete items and as you add new ones. You are also able to adapt your category system to best suit your personality and your personal organizing style. This is your document, make it work for you.