Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Lewis Carroll via the Queen of Hearts
I love this quote from Alice in Wonderland because I’m an idea woman. There are days I wake up and think, “Oh I could do this. And then I could do this. And then as soon as that happens I’ll be ready for that.” My mind starts bouncing all over the place and I get really excited.
But I’ve learned (the hard way) if I take action on too many ideas, I lose focus and don’t really accomplish anything by the end of the day.
A few years ago I started daydreaming about a trailer for my bike so I could ride my bike to the grocery store. I started sketching it out in my mind and thinking about materials that are lightweight yet I could assemble myself. Imagine my surprise when I found them already designed and available on the interwebs. Ta Dah!
A quick Craigslist search later and I was buying one from a dude who bought it new so he could ride his bike to the grocery store. My new ideas aren’t always so original. And my husband now lovingly/jokingly reminds me of my bike trailer I had to have that now collects dust in the garage.
Great ideas come and go, but the reality is that we can only get so much done in our 168 hours a week. I’ve met people that spend too much time chasing every new idea and I’ve met people who have lots of ideas and never act on a single one.
My favorite kind of folks are those who see someone else’s project come to life and snidely remark, “I thought of that years ago.” Well, cowboy, the difference is that that person invested the time, energy, money, and relationships to make it happen. And you didn’t.
I love that you have new ideas and are being inspired to take action. Don’t ever lose that! Instead you probably need a filter through which to gauge whether or not an idea/project/grand plan is yours to actually take action on. Answer these questions as a way to filter your new ideas:
- What’s the most important thing you need to accomplish this year?
- How would this new idea serve your customers/clients/family/significant other?
- How would this new idea serve you? You probably won’t become a millionaire from it (the statistics just aren’t on your side on this one). What would you gain from starting it: a side hustle opportunity, fun, creativity, new relationships?
- What will you give up to start this new idea?
- What in your project list could it fit into already?
- What do you hope to learn by making this great idea a reality?
I’m not saying to NOT follow your eureka moment. Instead answer these 6 questions to see how it fits into what you’re rocking already. And of course, if you get your priorities done for the day, follow your creativity! Let your daydreams come to life! Being practical and focused all of the time is just too practical.