If you are like me, you have ideas popping into your head all the time. Almost anywhere I am, no matter what I am doing, an idea for some kind of new business, or money-making idea will come to me. Because of this, it is important for me to write down every idea I think of, no matter how large or small, or even no matter how ridiculous the idea may seem at the time.
If I am out, away from the house, I don’t generally write the ideas down, but what I do is that I use the voice recorder on my cell phone to make an audio note to myself of what my idea is. Later, when I am home, I will listen to the recording and write down the idea on one of my notepads.
I don’t use my computer to make these notes. It’s not an MS-Word file or a text file on my desktop. I do it the old fashioned way, I write it on a piece of paper. What I generally use for writing down ideas is post-it notes. Then I stick the post-it note on my desk. Often, the post-it notes get in my way on my desk. Maybe while I am handling my computer mouse, the post-it notes are in the way. This is good. It forces me to do something with the notes. I will keep looking over the ideas on paper, and decide which ones have merit. After a few days of staring at an idea on a piece of paper on my desk, often I will conclude that the idea doesn’t have merit, after all, it was just a wild thought. Some ideas may not make it in the form that I had envisioned, they might be massaged a bit, and end up being something other than I had considered. Sometimes two or three ideas will meld into one better idea.
As these ideas mesh together and get filtered, I start making “To-Do” lists, also on post-it notes and stuck to my desk. Then, every day I check my “To-Do” list. I prioritize the list to decide which of the things I will actually do today. How do I decide? It is an earning/time ratio decision. If I look at an idea and think to myself that this item could make me $500 per month when it is completed, I then figure how much time it will take to get it done. If I can do it in an hour, and not need to do much follow up work with it, and it will make $500 per month, I might jump on it and get it done, thus removing it from my “To-Do” list. If I see one that will make me $1,000 per month, but it will take me 3 months to get it done and will require 10 hours of work per week to maintain it, that idea would be a very low priority. Too much time needed to get it done. Also, too much additional time needed to keep it going. So, because of the way that I work things, and the time/earning ratio that I consider before taking on a project, I have some ideas that have been on my To Do list for some time. I might still do the project someday if the time presents itself to me.
Another thing that I may well do if a project would take too much time is to hire the job out. I find that for just a few hundred dollars, I can hire somebody to get a project going for me, and thus I don’t have to spend my time on them. I only hire it out, though, if I really feel quite sure of the project’s success.
So, at any given time, I will have a bunch of post-it notes stuck to my desk. They bug me. They get in my way. I don’t like them. But, you know what? They force me to get things done because when the item on the paper is finished, I get to throw the paper away!
Maybe this isn’t a perfect system, but it helps me get things done. If you employ a system like this, I promise you that you will come up with a lot more money making projects!
And, it all starts with one simple act. When you think of a new idea – write it down!
I’m going to disagree with you, Bob. This is absolutely the perfect system. For you. Why? Because it makes you get the job done. Perfect system for someone else? Maybe not, but that doesn’t matter for you and your efforts.
Hi Tom – It works for me, and I can only really write about the things that work for me. Of course, we are all different, and our needs and things that work for us are different too.
Thanks for reading!
Exactly. Certainly we should work to change the things that don’t work, but creating a technological solution where one was not needed seems a bit much. If the post-its work, then they work.
My system is similar to yours. Although, my sticky pad is my desktop. I put all my ideas and projects into word or other formats then crowd up the desktop with them. Ha-ha kind of has the same affect. It sure is hard to see the background of the wife and kids with all that stuff in the way.
Hi Mike K. – Great minds think alike! I hope your system works well for you, as mine does for me.
Hey Bob I agree with you all the way. There is just too many things going on in a day that it is impossible to remember everything. So, in saying that your idea you had may come into fruition had you written it down. The emphasis on using day planners, writing out your goals, or your dreams in life does something magical in that old noggin of ours. Have you ever read the book by Napoleon Hill called “Think and Grow Rich”? Excellent book and teaching tool. Anyway,I can see this importance in writing down your ideas or whatever, it’ll make you more of an organized person and you’ll feel self confident.
Hi Tony – Yep, its a system that works well for me! Of course, we all have ways that we make ourselves remember things, and whatever works for you would be great too!
I have not read the book that you mentioned. Since you recommend it, I think I’ll have a look and see if I can get a copy!