After working on my annual brain dump, I’m finding myself opening up to new ideas and possibilities. After all, nature abhors a vacuum and it seems my brain is no exception.
Of course these lightning strikes never come at a convenient time so this past week I’ve found myself saying repeatedly “Oh, I had the best idea for X” or “Oh, I thought of a great name for Y” followed by my embarrassed admission that I can’t remember what they were anymore.
I hate that feeling.
The cure is mind-numbingly simple: record your ideas the moment you have them.
I still love pen and paper but stashing small notepads all over the place – in my purse, my car, my nightstand, my bathroom – has gotten old so I just rely on my handy-dandy smartphone. And, since my task management system is cloud-based, I can enter my ideas straight where they belong*.
Like I said, it’s simple. So simple I’ve hesitated over posting such an obvious message. But while putting a system in place so you have a way to record your ideas quickly and easily no matter where you are is easy, using it religiously is not.
But here’s the thing. Every time I have one of those “D’oh” moments I can feel something inside me freeze. It’s like a little jerk that stops me in my tracks. Those little jerks add up and soon the ideas just stop.
Keeping the ongoing flow of information from your brain to your system year-round, keeps the vacuum in place. For me, it’s worth doing whatever it takes to stop worrying about remembering and start focusing on imagining.
*For those looking for a cloud-based task management system, I happen to use Things by Cultured Code, but I have heard great things about the following systems as well: TeuxDeux by Swiss Miss, Todo by Appigo. Trello and Evernote are also very popular.