Have you ever experienced a burst of inspiration so brilliant that you couldn’t resist proclaiming, “Eureka!” ? These light-bulb moments are an amazing thing to experience, but they are a moot point if you forget about your idea before you have the chance to act on it. Keep reading to check out ten ways to organize your thoughts and never lose ideas again.
1. Keep a notebook in your car
If you have a pen and paper in your car at all times, you’ll be able to make a mad dash to your vehicle to write down your thoughts before they vanish no matter where you are.
2. Type a text
On-the-go and hit with a flourish of an idea? Grab your phone and send a quick message to yourself of the key points just in case you need to jog your memory later.
3. Call a friend
Surely you have a friend who you tell everything to, right? Let’s say you’re driving your car, a situation where texting and writing obviously aren’t smart things to do. I would encourage to keep your call short so you can focus on the road, but dial up your friend and exclaim, “you’ll never believe the amazing thing I just thought of!” Tell them all about it, ask for their input just in case they have any ideas that would make it even better. Saying your idea out loud will make it much less likely you will forget, and you can always call your friend later if you need a reminder.
4. Address an email to yourself
If you’re at the office and have a cluttered desk where an idea on paper would quickly get lost in the shuffle, you could send an email to your personal account so you’ll have access to your idea as soon as you get home.
5. Keep a pen and paper on your bedside table
Have you ever woke up in a daze with a vivid memory of a fascinating dream that vanished within one minute of your feet hitting the ground? Avoid forgetting your dreams by writing them down as soon as you stir awake. Since dreams tend to speak about who we are on a deep level, you can use them to fine inspiration for ideas in the real world.
6. Compile your ideas in one place
The first five points will help you grab a fleeting idea before it runs away, but if you’re a busy person who has a lot of stuff to do, you’ll need to take a moment to compile all of your ideas in a single place. No matter which methods you use–text, email, notebook, recording, or whatever the case may be– open a spreadsheet or document to compile your ideas in a single location.
7. Organize your ideas by topic
Now that your ideas are compiled, let’s organize them in a way that makes sense. Our brains are full of thoughts about a limitless variety of things, so let’s filter them by topic so you don’t get overwhelmed. You could use categories such as Things to Write About, Books to Read, Places to Visit, etc.
8. Cut the losers
Not all ideas are created equally. While something might have sounded like a great idea at the time, it could look silly in retrospect. Go ahead and delete the losers so you will be more likely to act on the winners.
9. Make them actionable
The best idea in the world is of no use if you don’t take action to make it reality. Look at your list of ideas and ask yourself the following questions:
- How can I make this relevant to my daily life?
- Which ideas would be most beneficial for me to act on today?
- Is there a common theme emerging here? If so, how could I combine these ideas together to make them more powerful?
If you have a hard time getting yourself to take action, click here to check out practical ways to stop procrastination.
10. Boost your health
A healthy and well-rested body is more capable of retaining information than an unhealthy and exhausted one. Make sure you exercise at least three days a week, eat your fruits and veggies and get a good night of sleep.
What do you think?
Have you ever had a glorious flash of inspiration that escaped before you could do anything about it? Isn’t that the most frustrating thing in the world? It happens to the best of us but if you put these ten steps into action you will never lose ideas again.
Our minds are basically organized like human computers. How to Organize Your Brain for Better ProductivityFeatured photo credit: Generationbass.comvia Flickr