You can do absolutely anything you put your mind to! But that doesn’t mean you should.
So how do you decide what to when and where to focus your energy. Here are my top tips for dealing with Idea Overwhelm.
One of the biggest challenges creatives face is having TOO MANY IDEAS FOR HOURS IN THE DAY.
I face this in my own business and life everyday.
Sometimes it becomes overwhelming, almost debilitating!
How many times have you started your workday spending precious minutes (or hours) phaffing about because you don’t know where to start. You want to do it all, and you want to do it yesterday, so you do nothing. Crazy right? But SO common.
You are creative, you are full of ideas, you see potential everywhere and you want to work on 100 things at once! Such is the curse of the creative entrepreneur.
The key is, NOT to let it stop you from taking action and moving forward.
Easier said than done right?
There is no simple answer to how you do that, but here are a few tips I’ve learnt that will help your constant stream of ideas from actually stop you doing any of the work.
WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN.
If you are anything like me and full of ideas, the more you try to follow through on one thing, the more a thousand other ideas fill your head. This can be exhausting and counter productive.
I’ve learnt the hard way, there is just no point starting on a thousand projects, if you never complete and deliver a thing.
Yet you also need to keep the right side of your brain happy, and frankly out of your way while you work on completing your last great idea, so have a notebook that is just for your crazy wild plans.
Write everything down.
The more insane the idea, the more important it is to jot it down. If you can’t get your mind off your new idea, take five minutes out and write it down, even schedule an appropriate time you can commit to working on it.
Then get back to the task at hand!
YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.
Don’t let the nay-sayers turn you away from your amazing ideas just because they can’t see a way for it to work. The best ideas are often the craziest so have faith in yourself and follow your intuition.
Sometimes you do need to stop what you are doing and follow a new path.
That is ok. You really can do anything.
However, make sure you have considered the options carefully, weighed up the costs of the new plan and assessed the risks. PLAN before you take action and if you need to, seek advice from others. Make sure they are the right people and even if they say no, listen to your intuition and back yourself.
There are times when we need to be brave and try something new. Have faith that it will work, and belief that you will survive if it doesn’t.
Just don’t jump without thinking it through.
YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING.
Many people will tell you that to run a successful business, it will involve focusing on just one thing. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs and big businesses have reached success through being the very best at one small thing. And yes this is a great way to do business. But it is not the only way.
I am much happier when I have multiple projects on the go at once. In one given day I might be creating content, organising an event or working on personal projects.
This might not be the most efficient way to get things done, but I’ve found a balance that suits my working style and keeps my left and right brains in some sort harmonious relationship.
The same might be true for you.
Just because someone is making only one product line, doesn’t mean you need to do the same. Perhaps you want to make products and teach classes. That is absolutely ok.
It is important that your business does have a clear vision and is well structured. The more varied your offerings become, the more important it is to be absolutely certain about the direction and mission of the business, as well as the message you are putting out in the world.
Multi-faceted businesses are really hard work but they are not impossible. If you do want to have more than one ball in the air at a time, planning and organisation become even more important than before.
YOU CAN NOT DO IT ALL AT ONCE.
Even when my workload is totally overflowing and I am feeling the pressure, I am still bombarded by new ideas and projects I wish I had time to work on.
If I followed every bright, shiny idea that crossed my path I would not only be totally broke, but also completely insane.
You have to learn to when to write down your ideas and move on.
Maybe you can chase it up in a month, or a year, but you can not do it all at the same time.
Often, what you think are the very best ideas have serious flaws, coming back to them with fresh eyes allows you to see things you would have missed in the initial excitement.
Sometimes I circle back to an old idea and know, wholeheartedly, now is the right time to follow up on it.
Other times I’ll wonder how I ever thought it was a good plan in the first place.
Let go of the desire to do everything straight away, there is time later on to come back to it.
DON’T JUST THINK IT, DELIVER IT!
An idea is never going to help you build your business, or serve your consumers, if you never see it through to the end and DELIVER IT!
As creatives we often feel that the ideas seemed so much more amazing inside our head than they ever do once we make them tangible and open to worldly criticism.
You have to get over that!
Yeah, that is easier said than done, I know. But like most things in life, you will get better at it with practice.
If you have trouble seeing things through, set yourself deadlines such as:
“I will launch my new range by October 1st”
“I will have my new online course for sale by the end of next week”
Set deadlines, write them down, share them with someone so that you can be held accountable and then, just get it done. It may or may not be perfect. But it will be delivered!
There is always opportunity to come back and rejig things later if your delivered product was not quite what you had hoped for. I am currently working on a new format for our creative business planning course, it is better than it was and it is no longer available in the old format – because we have improved it.
Don’t let perfection get in the way of get your offerings out in the world.
Do you have any tips on how you cope with the curse of being a creative and always fighting idea overwhelm?
We would love you to share them in the comments below.
Or if you have any questions about my process feel free to ask.
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