How do you translate ideas into action? Today’s #Reverb10 prompt directs us to consider: Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?
Well, first you have to get beyond that pesky idea stage and make sure the idea has some legs to it. So many ideas are – rightfully – fleeting and never receive further consideration. (These are often the same ideas that wake me to scribble on a post-it. The next morning, 90% of the time, the idea either makes absolutely no sense or has already been done. (Hence, my morning Googling.))
So I massage that idea for awhile to weigh its merits. I go for a run or a bike ride and play devil’s advocate with myself. Will this idea benefit my greater vision? How does it fit in with other plans or actions or opportunities?
If it doesn’t, the idea gets filed away in some dark area of my brain, where, if it deserves a second chance, it will someday bubble back to the top. Otherwise, it remains on the island of misfit ideas forever.
But if the idea is worthy… oh, then the fun begins.
I love lists. Specifically, I love crossing things off of lists, staring at a list of items that can barely be seen beneath their completion.
And so, for me, action requires lists. It requires taking the big idea and breaking it down into a dozen, a score, a hundred individual items (depending, of course, on the scope of the idea), each one manageable.
And then those lists get put EVERYWHERE. I use Evernote as a centralizing tool, but usually also have a post-it at work, one at home on my desk, one on the coffee table, occasionally one on the corkboard on the cabinet in the kitchen. (When those post-its migrate, chaos ensues, especially when I find a cryptic note in the pocket of a coat I haven’t worn in six months.)
From there, action requires seeing those notes and reminders in my face enough times that I start feeling guilty about inaction. (Guilt is a huge motivator.) Every couple weeks, when I re-consolidate the lists and post-its, I have guilt pangs over the untouched items.
So really, it’s pretty simple. I have no shortage of ideas, and constantly weigh them against each other. I’ve got the theory of action down.
Ready, set, go!
What motivates you into action?
I make a few notes, then write when I have ideas. Most of my ideas center around writing so that makes sense. Most of the time, poor ideas die on the page. Other times, it is a slow painful death. I don’t always see it right away. Pushing dead ideas around on paper is no fun.
Thanks for the tip about Evernotes. Never heard of it, but will play with it!