It is true many of us feel overwhelmed from time to time when we think about all the things we need to do and the many hats we need to put on. Often, many of us have this false sense of pride that we need to be able to remember everything.
I use to be like that, trying to think of all the things I needed to do, and it was frustrating when I couldn’t remember everything. This was when I bought myself a diary to keep track of everything from appointments to tasks that I needed to follow up. From that day, onwards, I started noticing a difference in my thinking processes. Because I was writing my activities in a diary my brain was becoming clearer and suddenly more ideas were coming to me. I felt I had more control over my thoughts and I was becoming more creative in what I was thinking about. It was then I needed a book to record these wonderful ideas that were suddenly coming to me. This became my Ideas Book.
It was a revelation the day I decided to carry around not one, but two little books – a diary and an ideas book. The Ideas Book was nothing glamorous but just a simple notebook in which to put my ideas down, so I didn’t have to remember everything. And, I mean everything went in it! It could be described as a place in which you dump information from your brain onto paper. There is something satisfactory about having a book in which you can record anything that comes to mind. The act of physically writing something down actually helps to commit things to the memory. What you start noticing is that your brain will start to free up and you will be able to think more creatively. I figured I wasn’t creative before starting to use the Ideas Book but that soon changed when I realised it begun to help my brain. Instead of trying to remember everything, I began to generate more ideas.
What does an Ideas Book include? Anything you like. Pick a simple, inexpensive notebook, small enough you can carry it around with you but big enough so you can write ideas in it. You choose how it can best help you. Jot down any ideas that pop into your head throughout the day. It will be a mess, but that’s okay. It’s just a temporary place you can store your ideas until you are ready to action them.
Remember once you generate ideas you need to do something with them. Choose a time of the day to check-in and decide what you want to do with the ideas. There is a three-step process for this.
1. If it can be done within a few minutes, do it now.
2. If something can be done in the next few months, put it in a diary. You are then committed to a date and time.
3. Everything else stays in a file for future use.
It is amazing what an Ideas Book can do. Give it a try and see what difference it can make in your life.