How to Deal with Too Many Ideas

Do you wish sometimes that you could just shut your brain off for a while? 

Stop it from thinking so much and coming up with so many ideas that they are overflowing and you can’t even keep track of them much less implement anything.

I understand. One of the things that I learned while going through my training as a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach is that this is NOT how everyone’s brains work. 🤯

I really thought that was how brains worked. 

It’s how mine has worked all my life. Before I open my eyes in the morning until after my eyes close at night…my mind just whirs along.

When my son, after being asked one day what he was thinking, said “nothing” I didn’t believe him (and might have gotten just a little bit annoyed with him!)

Now…I must confess that my thoughts are not always deep thoughts. They are sometimes weird, often random, and frequently silly. But mixed in there are some goodies.

The fact that they are are always coming and not well captured is what can get overwhelming. When I think about something I’ve thought of before (and not acted upon) it can be frustrating. The thought that I’ve lost some brilliant, life-changing ones crosses my mind on occasion (I’m sure I’ve had at least a couple of million-dollar ideas that could have changed the world. Yup. For sure.) 

Action Changes Things

I have INPUT, INTELLECTION, and IDEATION in my dominant strengths. Knowing this helps me understand why I find myself in this busy-brain situation. Together, these bring me a lot of ideas, about many different topics, and keep my brain busy thinking about the possibilities.

I know how these talents work and appreciate what they offer to my life. I wouldn’t give them up for any others if given the opportunity. But…knowing how to develop them to serve me rather than overwhelm me. That’s magic.

Not wanting to lose my great ideas, I found ways to capture them. And I’ve learned that having too many cool tools to store ideas does not serve me. Drive (two accounts!), Evernote, One Note, Dropbox, Trello, Things, Asana… Sadly, I could go on. 

I LOVE cool tech tools! 

I have too many cool tech tools…

I should also mention the sticky notes, 3×5 cards, journals, and scraps of napkins. I love paper just as much as I love digital.

Ideas captured on sticky notes!
Ideas can be captured anywhere!

The problem? My ideas end up everywhere. 

It’s a little chaotic. Ideas get written down (more than once sometimes) and they get ignored for fresher, newer, more recent ideas.

After reading this, you may wonder how I ever get anything done. I do, but it’s often pressure prompted. That’s when I do my best work.

What am I doing now to bring a little peace and order to my days?

I am deciding on my favorite tools, using those, and letting others go. 

I am sorting through my ideas and capturing them in those favorite tools. 

I am joining communities (RELATOR) to help me focus time on these projects so that they are more fun AND I have some accountability for making progress.

I am aiming my strengths at helping me calm the chaos of ideas into an idea bank that excites me rather than overwhelms me. I am making space to be creative and freeing up energy to take action. 

I am letting go of what no longer serves me. Even if those things are old, once great ideas that no longer interest me.

What are you doing with your ideas? How do you capture, nurture, and develop them? What are you doing to hone your strengths?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Comment and share what actions would best serve you right now. And how you’re going to start taking them. 

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