Most “creative” people never seem to run out of great ideas, but in the words of author Scott Belsky, most of these ideas never see the light of day! Thomas Edison said it best though – “Vision without execution is hallucination.”
Sometimes making your vision a reality can be a bit difficult! So, after studying the habits of successful and productive people for years, Belsky devised five tips for making ideas happen. His suggestions include:
- Avoid a Reactionary Workflow – We are all bombarded with incoming communication (emails, phone calls, etc). Rather than be proactive with our energy, we spend all of our energy reacting. To avoid this reactionary workflow, schedule “windows of non-stimulation,” avoiding email and all other incoming communication.
- Strip Projects to Three Primary Elements – Reduce projects to three key elements: 1. Action steps, tasks that can be articulated succinctly; 2. Backburner items, ideas that are not actionable, but may be later; and 3. References, articles, notes, and other information that you collect.
- Measure Meetings with Action Steps – Meetings are generally held in the morning – when a large amount of people are most productive. These meetings usually end without any action steps having been captured. A meeting that ends without action steps should have been a voice mail or email. End each meeting with a quick review and capture the action steps.
- Reduce Your Insecurity Work – Insecurity work is stuff that we do to make sure we’re “safe,” but it: 1. Has no definable outcome; 2. Does not move the ball forward in any way; and 3. Takes up so little time that we can do it multiple times a day without realizing it. The first step in reducing this type of work is to become self-aware.
- The Creative Process is About Surviving the “Project Plateau” – Most ideas are abandoned at what Belsky calls the “project plateau”: the point when creative excitement wanes and the pain of deadlines and project management become burdensome. To escape this pain, we generate a new idea, abandoning the one we were working on. Belsky urges you to show your ideas some respect and spend some energy improving how you execute.
Click here to see all the details on Belsky’s tips – and start the process of implementing your ideas today!
– The IDEAWorks® Team
“A good idea is about ten percent and implementation and hard work, and luck is 90 percent.”