Have you noticed that when you focus on your work, it generates new ideas?
New ideas are great, but I’ve noticed that they are often strong enough to pull me away from my current task. That’s a problem, because effectiveness comes from focusing on a specific piece of work and executing, not following every glowing trail you see. Those who follow the glowing trails often get lost doing so. Also, why are the trails glowing?
The Idea Pad
While working at the computer, designate a physical notepad or a digital place to store impromptu ideas. It needs to be easy to access and something you’ll use again and again. Why? Because if you don’t trust it, you won’t use it and you’ll be distracted by the shiniest current thought that passes in front of you.
Say you’re writing an article, and while researching it, you read something that prompts an idea, which prompts you to research the idea further. You immediately go to Google and start typing to get more information, which leads to another article and two more ideas. Two hours later, you find yourself eating oreos watching another cat video on youtube when you remember, “oh that’s right! I was writing an article!” Online distractions have defeated you!
Then it happens again tomorrow. You’re finding out all sorts of interesting information online (of which there is an infinite amount), but after weeks or months, you realize that you’ve been less productive than you hoped.
If you trust and use your idea pad, it will absorb these online distractions for you. And you won’t have to worry about losing those brilliant ideas you have when busy. It’s a simple concept that few people use. I use Google Keep for my ideas, and when I get an idea, I quickly write it there and resume what I was doing. I’m not perfect at doing it yet, but it has really helped me to focus when I’ve done it.
If you’re so disorganized that you don’t know where to begin, take a look at my ultimate organize-your-life guide. It’s very helpful!
What To Write On Your Idea Pad
- The hilarious video on youtube you need to watch
- A brilliant business idea
- A reminder to modify your workflow
- A note to reply to Jessica on Facebook
- A reminder to get groceries later
- An article idea
- An interesting question you just thought of: “What vegetables have gone extinct?”
Anything that pulls you away can be put on the idea pad, and you can set a time later to look at the idea pad and address everything. This keeps your ideas safe and keeps you on task! Try it.
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