As I’ve mentioned in previous postings, many of us with ADHD are virtual idea factories. My husband can attest to how many of these so-called “great” ideas I come up with in a given week, day or even hour. In the not too distant past, impulsiveness would often result in me taking actual steps to push forward new ideas within minutes of hatching them. As you can imagine, or as you might experience yourself, I often overburdened myself with too many hatchlings and dealing with fallout from those ideas that turned out to be not-so-great. Since developing more awareness around this, I’ve learned to address my plethora of “great” ideas differently, resulting in a simpler life and greater productivity. I hope you can pull something from my learning that might support you in creating some best practices for yourself.
- Not all ideas are “great” ideas ~ Just because it came to you in the shower, where you “always” have your best ideas, doesn’t make it “great”. Accepting this basic premise makes it easier to not act on ideas impulsively.
- There is always going to be another “great” idea and I could never act on every one of them ~ Having spent some of my career working with individuals with hoarding tendencies, I found it easy to accept that I couldn’t implement every idea, much like some of my past clients accepted they could never in their lifetimes use all the crafting supplies they had accumulated.
- There is value in nesting ideas for a period ~ Experience has taught me through some fairly difficult lessons that acting on that “great idea” seconds or minutes after hatching it is rarely beneficial, unless you are in the midst of an emergency. The other 99% of the time nesting a hatchling idea for a while is beneficial, creating a much needed pause between hatching and acting. My nesting places for hatchling ideas include:
- The voice recorder on my phone – When an amazing idea strikes while I’m on the go, I capture it in my voice recorder. This, I learned was a great option to calling a friend or colleague and sharing a freshly hatched, possibly half-baked idea. When I later listen to these messages and if the idea still seems worthy of pursuing, I transfer it to a Toodledo list called Consider, otherwise I delete it / abandon it.
- My draft box of my email folder – Here is where all of those emails go that I dash off to someone when brilliance strikes. Instead of hitting send though, as I used to, I now nest them in drafts for a few days. If upon my next reading I am still as fired up about the topic, issue, etc as I was I can press send. If the fire has faded, I hit delete. I find that I hit the delete key often.
- My Consider Files – In addition to the Toodledo consider file I also maintain onsider files in my email filing system and my physical filing system. I go through these files regularly and those ideas that no longer strike my fancy are jettisoned into the void. I reviewed my physical consider file this morning. It was interesting to me as I reviewed it, how many items were jettisoned, including: an article on creating shadowboxes, some pages from a catalog featuring clothes I must’ve thought attractive at one point and a list of potential website templates. Thank goodness I chose to not act on any of these ideas impulsively as I might have before creating my system for nesting and assessing ideas.
- It’s ok to abandon an idea and release it back into the universe ~ If it’s a truly great idea it will be there in the universe for someone else to latch onto or for you to latch onto another time!
How might creating practices for dealing with your idea factory simplify your life or increase your productivity? What opportunities do you see for nesting or releasing? I’d love to hear from you!