Making the Most of Your Ideas

As your company increases its digital presence, you’re spending more and more time in the limelight. With all those people watching, it’s not at all unusual to get the shakes and feel like you’re out of ideas—after all, why should all those people listen to you? Are you really that innovative? Do your ideas matter?
Guess what pal. When you’re done having your Beautiful Mind moment, buck up. You’ve made it this far and this is no time to let doubt drag you down. Push onwards and expand your creativity with this week’s post.
How Ideas Come About
Ideas can strike anytime, but that’s no reason to hang out under a tree Issac Newton-style, waiting for that apple. What’s important is to get your mind thinking about the subjects you want to cover. Think of this as a sort of controlled creativity – you want to be creative, but in a focused way.
To do this, you first need to clearly define the categories you will be thinking within. If you’re writing a marketing blog, your categories might be, say, web design, web advertising, social media, industry news, etc. (sound familiar?).
Then, keep informed by reading things about all these fields. That way, you know what usually gets covered and what doesn’t. Any question that arises while you read — write it down. Other people are probably wondering too, and you could be the person who answers it for them.
Once you know what you need, you’ll find that your brain is working spontaneously in the background, the same way your Mac downloads those ubersweet updates. You’ll start getting ideas everywhere — in the tub, as you’re tying your shoes, in the middle of the night. And all it took was clarifying what you wanted to do.
(If you’re one of those people who likes to do things to the extreme, the equivalent of a mental Schwarzenegger, check out these tips to actively exercise your creative muscles.)
Capture the Idea
Ideas, being the spontaneous synaptic connections that they are, leave as quickly as they appear. It becomes key to capture the idea while it’s still in your brain, before that cute girl brings you your mochachino, and what were we talking about?
You can go old-school and use a notepad. Frankly, this way is the easiest, because the least amount of things can go wrong. (Imagine Edison cursing his dead iPhone as the lightbulb idea rapidly evaporates from his head…) There’s also something deeply satisfying about putting your thoughts down on paper. Just don’t forget to bring the notepad with you when you leave the house, or it won’t do you much good.
For the tech-savvy minimalist, a digital option would probably be best. Various apps exist for taking notes, some of which even sync with the web to ensure you’ll never lose a note even if you lose your device. Our personal favorite is Evernote, which is free and offers instantaneous syncing between phone, Web and computer.
So listen up, slim. Don’t get cold feet and remember: ideas come to those who are ready for them. Use controlled creativity and write those ideas down fast, and you’ll never again suffer from idea anxiety.
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