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Knowing Which Ideas to Pursue - Having lots of ideas is a great problem to have, but how can you differentiate between the good ones and the bad ones so not to waste your time and money?

Knowing Which Ideas to Pursue

Having lots of ideas is a great problem to have, but how can you differentiate between the good ones and the bad ones so not to waste your time and money?

Knowing Which Ideas to Pursue - Having lots of ideas is a great problem to have, but how can you differentiate between the good ones and the bad ones so not to waste your time and money?

Once you start practicing your creativity on a regular basis, you may find that you have a new problem. Instead of struggling to come up with new ideas, you have ALL OF THE IDEAS. This is an amazing problem to have, but it can still be a problem nonetheless.

Sidenote – when I use the word “ideas” in this post it really just applies to anything you think of that you want to do. So it could mean you had the idea that you want to start weaving. Or you came up with the idea that you want to build a table. Or you had an idea for how to solve the problem that’s been on your mind. Or you came up with an idea for a business venture. They are all ideas.

Okay, back to it then. Why can having so many ideas be a problem? It sounds crazy.

Because even if you are overflowing with ideas, not all of them are going to be good ones. Not all of them are worth pursuing. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but it’s true. Not every idea you have is going to be a great one. Sorry! But seriously, even if your “ideas” are more like:

  • I want to knit a scarf
  • I want to make a quilt
  • I want to hand-lettering
  • I want to learn to use power tools so I can make cool shit
  • I want to paint

That’s all awesome, but if you try to juggle all of those new ideas/practices at once, it might backfire. Likely you will be overwhelmed and end up doing nothing instead of making some cool.

So how do you do it? How do you figure out what ideas to pursue without wasting your time, without having a bunch of half-completed projects around your house, or way too many tools and materials that you will never use again? How can you differentiate between the good ideas and the bad ideas before diving straight into the deep end?

Number 1 – Don’t immediately start in on the idea the second you have it, especially if you are already in the middle of something else. Sleep on the idea. Write it down. If you keep coming back around to the same idea, it’s probably worth pursuing. If in two days you have already had a newer, better, more awesome idea, it’s probably not worth your time.

Number 2 – Write your ideas down. Not just on a random piece of paper, but have a specific place where you keep track of your ideas – it could be a Google Doc you name “Ideas” or a notebook you label “Ideas Journal.” It doesn’t matter where you keep track of your ideas, just that you do.  I keep a Google Doc for my ideas. There have been times that I go to record an idea and realize that I have already had this idea. That in it of itself tells you something: I have had this idea twice, so maybe it’s worth pursuing.

For more thoughts on what to do with your ideas, check out this post – it’s one of my favorites.

Knowing Which Ideas to Pursue - Having lots of ideas is a great problem to have, but how can you differentiate between the good ones and the bad ones so not to waste your time and money?

Creativity in 10 is a recurring series sharing ideas for how you can practice your creativity in ten minutes or less a day. Up today - Starting an ideas journal.

Creativity in 10: Start an Ideas Journal

Creativity in 10 is a recurring series sharing ideas for how you can practice your creativity in ten minutes or less a day. Up today – Starting an ideas journal.

Creativity in 10 is a recurring series sharing ideas for how you can practice your creativity in ten minutes or less a day. Up today - Starting an ideas journal.

Here’s the story.

If you missed it, last week I started a new series called Creativity in 10. The idea is to provide you with simple ways to practice your creativity in 10 minutes or less a day. Check out last week’s post about forming a writing habit here.

Most people like the idea of being creative and practicing their creativity, but aren’t sure where to start or feel overwhelmed with all of the possibilities. So here is another simple way to practice your creativity – start an ideas journal.

You can go about this a couple of different ways. On one hand, an ideas journal is just somewhere you write down your ideas when you have them – a little notebook you keep in your pocket or purse, a Google Doc you return to online, or even just sending yourself an email with your ideas. It’s a spot to collect and organize your ideas so that you can return to them later and iterate on them.

Even more than that, this is the practice of writing down ideas. It’s very difficult to come up with good ideas on demand, especially if you are not practicing it regularly.

Getting Started With an Ideas Journal

Each day, Set the timer for 10 minutes and come up with as many ideas as possible in that time. Anything you want to focus on – whether it’s ideas for how to keep your house clean, how to save more money, your next sewing project, the novel you want to write – it doesn’t matter what your ideas are about.

You are either going to set a timer and come up with as many ideas as possible. Write down every idea that comes to mind. Do not edit yourself. Do not decide if they are good ideas, bad ideas, etc. Just write everything down.

Or, you can set an ideas goal. This is where you keep going until you hit a certain number of ideas per day (5, 10, or whatever). Once again, do not edit. Chances are that most of your ideas will be crap. Utter garbage. But, you don’t need that many good ideas, just one or a few. If you actually do this everyday, amongst all this garbage will be a few pieces of gold.

So how do you do it? Easier said than done, right?

Set an alarm on your phone for a time when you know you can work on this – first thing in the morning, during your lunch hour, right before bed. When that alarm goes off, you are Pavlov’s dog. You hear the alarm, you write your ideas down.

Or, you can just put it on your calendar as a repeating event for the next 30 days. So everyday you see it and know it is something you need to accomplish.

Figure out which of these options works for you and start practicing your creativity today!

Creativity in 10 is a recurring series sharing ideas for how you can practice your creativity in ten minutes or less a day. Up today - Starting an ideas journal.

2 Approaches to Check Your Creativity

Check Your Creativity - The year long creative challenge! Click here to learn more and sign-up!

Last week I shared with you the details of Check Your Creativity, a year long creative challenge that I can’t wait to start! What would make it even better? If you joined me of course! For a refresher on the details or to sign-up, click here.

After last week’s email, one question I received was:

When thinking about taking on a year long creative project, I’m not sure that I can come up with 12 different creative ventures. Any thoughts?

Per usual, I have many thoughts on this.

Check Your Creativity was designed to be flexible to fit the needs of anyone who wants to join, but also to provide enough direction to keep you on track to having your most creative year yet. Taking this into account, you can complete Check Your Creativity anyway you want, but two approaches quickly come to mind:

  1. Choose one overarching creative venture for the year and make each month’s creative focus a different aspect of it. For example, if you chose photography, your year might look something like this:
  • September – Learning the basics of using your DSLR in manual mode
  • October – Composition
  • November – Lighting
  • December – Exposure
  • January – Depth of field
  • February – Perspective
  • March – Editing your photos
  • April – Focus on portrait photography
  • May – Focus on nature photography
  • June – Photo Challenge: take a photo at the same time everyday.
  • July – Photo Challenge: take a photo of all of the people you love
  • August – Photo Challenge: Go for a walk each day and photograph something outdoors

By going this route, you know what to expect each month. In addition, you will be continually building on your skill set so that by the end of the challenge you will be much more skilled than when you began. Finally, this also cuts down on any costs for the project. Assuming you already have your camera, you do not have to spend anything else for the rest of the challenge.

  1. If you decide that you were more interested in trying out 12 different creative ventures throughout the year, your year might look something like this:
  • September – sewing
  • October – knitting
  • November – photography
  • December – weaving
  • January – watercolors
  • February -crocheting
  • March – hand-lettering
  • April -acrylic painting
  • May – drawing
  • June – candle making
  • July – calligraphy
  • August – jewelry-making

By going this route, there is no chance of you getting bored! This is a great approach if you feel like you are someone who has several (or many) creative sparks, or even if you are still not sure what yours is and you want to experiment a little. This is also a great approach for people who have started many projects over the years (or even just bought the materials) but have not quite seen them to fruition (I’m definitely guilty of this). Check Your Creativity can be the kick in the butt you need to get going.

Remember, whichever route you choose, you can always change it later!!  So important to remember this. Even if it is in the middle of the month, if something is not working for you, can change it. You are in charge of everything.

In order to be ready for our September 1st kick-off, you need to sign-up here to download the calendar. Then, brainstorm ideas for your creative year. Remember, you really only need to decide what you will be focusing on in September.

Next week, I will show you how to quickly make a plan for the upcoming month’s creative focus so that you are ready to go when the 1st of each month rolls around.

Any questions about Check Your Creativity? Leave a comment or email me at greensandbluescoATgmail.com