This one is a bit of a personal post for me that I believe many people could benefit from. Over the years, I’ve consistently found myself running into a wall because I find myself having too many ideas, too little time.
Maybe you’re the same – maybe you have a lot of goals and aspirations and find yourself stressing over how you utilize what little free time you have so that you can reach these goals.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a father, a student, or someone who just has a busy life, you’re bound to feel like you’ve got too many ideas and not enough time to follow them through.
If this sounds like you, I hope this article will help you find some clarity and focus so that you can get started on and pursue the many ideas you have.
Here are the things I found to help me whenever I am stuck in that cycle of having too many ideas and too little time.
Focus on One Idea
Focus on one idea at a time. This is challenging. And I struggle with it to this day. However, I’ve noticed that whenever I force myself to only commit to one idea at a time, the results of that idea explode (in a good way).
When we try to pursue multiple ideas at a time, we often spread ourselves thin. You’ll either find yourself rushing through one idea to get to the next or get stuck in analysis paralysis and take no action at all.
By focusing on one idea, you’re able to commit all of your energy to figuring out how to bring that idea to life, immersion is easier, and achieving a consistent and controllable flow state becomes much easier as well.
Once you’ve got one idea down or knocked out, then you can move on to focusing on the next.
Commit to One Idea for AT LEAST 3 Months
This tip can be used in conjunction with focusing on one idea. What I’ve found extremely helpful is committing to one idea for AT LEAST 3 months.
The reasoning for this is simple:
- You can say you gave the idea an honest try
- 3 months allows you to build habits
- 3 months is a small and achievable amount of time to spend focusing on one idea
So, once you’ve picked the one idea you want to move forward with, fully dedicate yourself to it for 3 months.
Write down all your other ideas for later, save them somewhere safe, and forget about them for the next 3 months. Live and breathe the one idea you’re currently focusing on.
3 months allows you the time you need to turn the work you have to put in for your idea into a habit. That way, at the end of 3 months if the idea is coming to life, you can start working on the next idea in addition to the first, since you’ll have your first idea’s needed input engrained as habit.
On the flipside, if the idea is a bust, you only spent 3 months on it and can move on to the next with a clean slate.
There’s a lot of power in introducing ideas, habits, or projects one at a time.
Don’t Set Goals
Whenever we have too many ideas in our heads, they’re often ideas revolving around goals we have.
This makes every day we haven’t reached that goal feel like a failure. That negative feeling compounds, especially when it’s something felt daily.
Now, the solution is simply don’t focus on achieving a goal. I know what you’re thinking…”How can I pursue my ideas without a goal?”
Simply put, instead of focusing on a goal like “I want to run a marathon,” focus on a small habit that you work on daily.
Rather than focusing on running a marathon, you should focus on running consistently. This makes achieving the goal easier, because instead of thinking “I can’t run a marathon yet” every day, you’re thinking “I’m running today so I can one day run a marathon.” Then, one day you are running a marathon.
Focus on actions day to day, not goals.
Outsourcing is a great way for you to increase the capacity you have to execute on ideas. There’s nothing wrong with working on an idea solo, but if you’re wanting to get more done sooner, you may want to consider outsourcing.
Outsourcing is when you hire or pay somebody else to do a task for you.
Let’s say you want to start a blog because you’re a talented writer, but you are awful at actually adding your content to your blog. Formatting takes you a lot of time, you aren’t too sure what tags to use, etc.
You could outsource the act of adding content to your blog by hiring somebody who’s really good at formatting and adding posts to a site! This would enable you to focus on what you’re good at and passionate about (writing) and save you hours of your time by letting someone else do the act of uploading the posts.
This is a very general example, but I think you get the idea.
If you’re interested in learning more about how outsourcing works and how you can apply it not just to business, but your personal projects as well, I highly recommend reading Tim Ferris’s book, The 4 Hour Workweek.
You could outsource to friends or family, or you could find a freelancer through a service like UpWork or Fiverr. Once I pulled the trigger and started outsourcing the menial tasks I was no good at, my ideas became easier to work in and focus on.
Another thing that helped me personally overcome the problem of having too many ideas in my head was to start a daily journal.
Daily journaling allowed me to focus on my goals and hold myself accountable day to day. It allowed me to write down my ideas as I had them, write down clear and concise daily actions I’d take to bring me closer to my goals, and it allowed me to organize my thoughts in a much more efficient manner.
It’s like as soon as I wrote down one of the too many ideas I had, it was made real and I no longer needed to sit there with it stewing in my brain.
We have an extensive article on daily journaling methods for men that covers some great journaling methods that will help you with getting your thoughts organized when you have too many ideas and so little time.
Journaling will help you organize your thoughts and home in on the ones that matter most.
So Many Ideas, So Little Time
All of these are some really great foundational practices you can implement when you find yourself with so many ideas and so little time to execute on them.
When you implement all of these at the same time, it’s like something magical happens. It feels like the stars align and you find yourself making strides, rather than baby steps.