This is Part 1 of a multi-part series. Click here for Part 2.
Working with many small business owners, I hear from a lot of them that they love to start things, but don’t necessarily love finishing them. When executing ideas aren’t as important as thinking of them, you are selling yourself short. Without actually executing ideas, they end up being just worthless thoughts.
A while back, I watched a webinar demonstrating that many business owners struggle with executing ideas and implementing strategies. They are frustrated, especially when employees take no action on those ideas and strategies. But there is an easy solution. Create a process around turning your great thoughts into reality so that you can see your brilliance come to life!
Capture Your Ideas
First, you need to capture your ideas. Depending on how you work best, tools like Evernote, your iPhone Voice Memos, or even an old-school journal or notebook and pen will work. The important part is to note them when they come to you. The middle of the night? At the start of an important meeting? Make sure you have a way to jot something down quickly. Executing ideas starts with simply not forgetting that you had a great one!
An added benefit to capturing these ideas is that your brain is free of clutter and you will be open to more ideas.
Schedule Time to Review Ideas
Second, you need to have a regularly scheduled time to go through those ideas. It could be quarterly, monthly, or even weekly… depending on how active your creative brain is. Don’t let too much time pass. You will forget what you were thinking when you jotted down that sentence in your notebook in the middle of the night or when you typed two words into Evernote at the start of that meeting.
You want to be able to review those ideas before they are stale, to prevent them from being fleeting. Schedule a repeating calendar event so that you make time to move forward rather than letting your brilliant idea die because it was left alone and got lost.
During that time you’ve set aside, actively choose what you want to pursue. Executing ideas begins with editing them. Unfortunately, we all have limited time and resources. So, which of the ideas you have captured is the most realistic? Which do you have the resources to put into play? Which will help you accomplish a specific goal? Or, which inspires a new goal? What’s the most brilliant or unique idea?
A note for those who aren’t comfortable with letting things go… deciding which ideas to execute doesn’t mean the others have to be eliminated permanently. Put a few additional notes around the ones that don’t make the first cut and save them for your next scheduled review slot. Maybe they’ll become more executable as they bounce around in the back of your mind and they will make the cut next time.
Understand that you can’t execute all of them all at once. If you try, you’ll end up in an ADHD-infected universe with a lot of dangling, shiny objects that are constant distractions and none of them will come to fruition. You want to pick one or two that you can put some structure around so that you can develop your idea into reality.
I will share Part 2 of Executing Ideas in my next post. In the meantime, start putting these initial steps into place.
Also published on Medium.