I was teaching a class the other day and one of the participants said … it’s like brain hoarding.  

You’ve got so many amazing ideas, so many cool things you want to do.  So many opportunities you want to take advantage of.  You don’t want to let them go.  

The problem… like hoarding, is that you end up brainwith too much.  It gets to the point that you no longer know what you have, or where you have it.  You lose all sense of priority and don’t know what’s really important.  You stop considering what will you have the most fun doing or what will give you the best return on your investment of time and energy.  You lose sight of what will bring you closest to your goal.

Entrepreneurs are really creative.  In fact, it’s your ideas that got you into business in the first place.  The trouble comes in when you try to do all of your ideas.  It’s confusing AND overwhelming to you and your customers.

The only way to create a thriving and sustainable business is to first, evaluate your options.  Second, decide which things you will do and which you won’t and finally, get into action and do!

Letting go of super cool ideas (and decreasing the brain hoard) can be tough so here’s the three step process that I use with my own ideas and those of my clients.

1.    Evaluate:  Gather all of your ideas.  Your to-do lists, scraps of paper and notes and the ideas floating in your mind.  Create two lists, one with quick “no-brainer” ideas that you can do in less than two hours, or have someone else do, and a second list with your bigger ideas that have multiple steps that require a significant amount of time, effort and energy.

2.    Decide:  Using the following questions to guide you, identify the top five quick things and one (at most two) longer more involved project.

  • What results do you expect by doing this?  Will doing this increase your revenue or client base?  Is it an idea to save you time, energy or improve the quality of your life?
  • Does this idea or project fit into what you are already doing and into your larger goals?
  • Does doing this project eliminate the need to do something else?
  • Does the idea sound like fun?  Are you excited about putting your time and energy into it?  (By the way, this is my favorite question!)

3.    Act:  Decide how and when you will do these few projects.  For the quick things you can either block out a few “mini project” blocks of time on your calendar or simply keep your short list handy for those times when you have an hour or two between things.   For the bigger project I suggest taking a few moments to identify the first few steps of the project and plan to do at least one-step every single day.

Here’s the real secret to all of it…it’s not about doing it all, it’s about continually moving something forward.

Which of your ideas are you going to focus your attention on?  Make it real by sharing it with me (and the world!).