The challenge of recording ideas

You might have expected this to be about all the tools to record ideas, but they are only part of the solution.

The real challenge sometimes is getting past the mental hurdle of actually deciding to save the idea in the first place.

Like gifts. Have you ever thought of a great gift idea for someone who’s difficult to shop for? Did you write it down so that months later when you were at the mall in a panic 5 days before their birthday or Christmas or whatever you would have it? You didn’t? Don’t feel bad, I didn’t either.

I’m always convinced that I will think of it again. I always do, just as they’re unwrapping the much crappier gift I could think of.

It’s not just a challenge with gifts, however, it’s also a challenge with other things. A clever line to add to a story or resume, or a neat hack for organizing the kitchen or whatever. It pops in the head, and it might be saved forever if we’d just trust the process.

Recognizing that I was the problem

In Steven Pressfield’s life-changing work,The War of Art (affiliate link), he writes about resistance – the internally generated force that causes us to act in opposition to our own best interests. Fighting the Resistance is enabled by acknowledging it exists. I have to tell myself that I’m simply not capable of deciding which ideas are worth saving. A different me, the smarter me that sits at a desk, has to do that. My job is to get that me some stuff to work on.

Leverage a new toy

I love gadgets and having a new one to play with is an effective trick. Having a new app, a new voice recorder, a new whatever to record ideas in helps. Now the idea is just an excuse to use the new toy.

Reduce the barriers

By having something to put the idea in handy. There are myriad ways – pick one and have it handy. Ok, I will do another post the tools.

Get them someplace where they will be seen and used, or mindfully discarded

The next main challenge is getting the ideas into a place where they will be available. Like a gift journal or list, or the business idea list or whatever. Get them there. Don’t think, just transfer. The mindset is of a warehouse worker who’s just been ordered to move the 5 bagsful over there…just move it.

Trust in yourself

I’m not stupid. I’m not my worst enemy. I am sometimes weak, and sometimes I don’t move in the right direction, but I can get better.
And if I wrote down that Dad needs a sweater, it was for a good reason, and I should be thinking about that next November.

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