Hope Wissel

How to Organize Your Great Ideas

Thank you Christie Browning for these AWESOME ideas..

 I used to think I was the person who took ideas and made them happen.  Over the last year or so, I have become an idea person.  The problem is, I get the idea – maybe write it down and then forget about it.  Or I get obsessed with it and go over board doing everything in my power to make it happen.

Can you relate?

Most ideas which fizzle out probably should.  They would be the ultimate Pinterest fail (at least in my case).  But sometimes there are some really good ones, I don’t want to lose track of.  Maybe the timing is wrong or worse the ideas keep coming to the point I am on overload.  Overload and MS are definitely not a good mix!!!  I then end up not taking action on anything or implementing any of the amazing ideas.

Are you someone who has a lot of ideas but struggles with keeping them organized or putting them into action?  Thanks to Christie, there are some suggestions for you…. I am going to try to start organizing my ideas, so I can move into action mode and ultimately make them happen!  Want to join me?

#1:  Dump your brain

I have been to MANY trainings where we have done this at the start of the session to help us focus.  It is a great way to just empty the mind-clutter without losing the great ideas! YES, it is possible.  So, grab a notebook and pen and start writing!  Keep the notebook on your desk,  your nightstand or wherever as long as it is close so when an idea hits, you can write it down. Get the thought on paper and stop depending on your brain to remember!  My brain is useless for this.  LOL!  By writing them down, you have a written record of your ideas.  Believe it or not, some of them will overlap and work with ones you have already had.  Also, by writing it down, you can review them when the “aha moment” passes to see if it is really a great idea.  Maybe you will pass on it now, but who knows in a few years, it might be doable.

#2:  Organize the madness

Having ideas is a great ….BUT every brain dump needs a little bit of organization.    I use color coding in my planner, so why not use the same principle in organizing my ideas. Create a color reference for each category. My categories are:

  • Blue – Personal (medical in my planner)
  • Pink – Business
  • Yellow – Family/ Household
  • Green – Financial
  • Orange – Spiritual

Once, you jot down an idea make sure there is enough information (not a book, just a few sentences) so if you come back to it, you remember what you were talking about.  Now, highlight it with a color.  In a “perfect world”, all of the ideas would be together in a notebook by category.  Yup, I’m so not there yet.

#3:  Plan to take action

So every idea I have doesn’t get acted on or do I even attempt.  There are some ideas  which die the minute I wrote them down or when I come back to look at them with a fresh pair of eyes, I think… “that ‘s crazy!”  I still keep them around in the never ending notebook because you never know, right?  The truth is, you will be able to tell from a brain dump which ideas will work at at that moment and which ones you need to hold on. The ideas I want to work on, I transfer to my planner and start planning it out. I figure out what steps I need to take to get started.  I identify what needs to happen. Then… jot dates (a basic timeline) or I prioritize what needs to be done first, then second, etc.  Unfortunately,  identifying a budget has always been last on my list.  If it is going to cost money,  I find someone with a more practical head to talk with about it so I don’t go off half cocked.

Organizing your ideas is a way  to help you stay focused on what needs attention now. I “squirrel” a lot lately so using this system has helped.  Be sure to ask yourself, “What needs to happen first?”.  “What projects have I already started I need to finish before I launch another idea?”  Sometimes ideas are great, but need to wait until other things happen first.  It’s easy to get distracted when something is new and exciting comes along, but the reality is, you will never actually cross a finish line or reach completion on an idea if you keep jumping around.

We all have goals, visions or even are why, right?  So be sure the idea you want to launch gets you closer to your goal, to your vision for your life, your business or your finances?  If it does, then hold onto this idea.   If it isn’t a perfect fit, push it to the bottom of the priority list.  Keep your list alive but updating it and reflecting on it regularly.

How do you organize your ideas?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

Are You Overwhelmed?

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It is about a week before Thanksgiving.  Many schools just got off Fall break due to the Elections, Veteran’s Day and Teacher’s Convention.  Moms everywhere (or at least I always was) are feeling the stress of all the things to get done BEFORE the holiday in addition to who they are going to handle the proverbial “I’m bored” statements from the kids.

As a mom, it’s easy for us to reach the overwhelmed state and it can be difficult to get past it.  I mean when we are in the midst of it, who can really see the light at the end of the tunnel?  It is there but it may be so far away we can barely see it.

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Here are 5 practical ways you can overcome the feeling of overwhelm and actually have a happier day.

Breathe

Sounds pretty basic, right?  The truth is we need to take some deep breathes to calm down so you can think clearly.  When things spin out of control,  our first instinct is to try to accomplish as much as possible in a short amount of time but this only makes things worse.  Once you calm yourself down, you can return to the busyness with a better frame of mind.852f65964ac14908994e75e2618fb7a1

Brain Dump

A ‘brain dump’ is a journal exercise where you write everything currently on your mind. You can write individual words, make lists or write out your feelings. It’s a fantastic way to clear your mind and organize your thoughts so that you can move past the overwhelm.

Focus

Everything is out of your brain so choose one task which will make the biggest difference in your life right now.  I know it is tough.  Our list is long and EVERYTHING could possibly make a difference.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Clear a table covered with papers and other stuff.
  2. Clean up the pile of clutter in your living room.
  3. Start on the mountain of laundry.
  4. Create a meal plan.
  5. Ask a friend to watch the kids at her house so you can take a nap.
  6. Clean the kitchen.
  7. Clear a counter.
  8. Say no to a few upcoming obligations.
  9. Make some meals.
  10. Call a friend to chat.

Relax

Okay, I can see the eyes rolling like I am totally CRAZY!  Who could possibly relax when there is a million things to do.  Actually, sometimes the best way to deal long to do list is to forget the list and do something fun. When you return, you will have more energy, motivation and creative ideas to work on the list. You might actually accomplish everything needed to be done in record time.

Prioritize

No, not your list – create a quick list of what is most important in your life. Now, go back to your brain dump and circle the tasks which have to do with your most important list. Work on conquering them and the other stuff can wait for now.13726574_10208957067301151_2459943727636367299_n

Can I guarantee you will go from overwhelmed to focused?  No but what I can tell you is by consistently practicing these tips, it will be a whole lot easier.

I challenge you to take a few minutes to create your MOST IMPORTANT LIST. Write down your top values and priorities.  Then post this list where you can see it for those moments when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!