Store, don’t kill your new idea

Recently I had an idea as I was journaling. A good one.

As quickly as it came, however, I dismissed it. “I don’t trust myself to do this,” I wrote in my journal.

Store, don't kill your new ideas

Why did I do that?, I asked myself. A pointless question because I knew the answer. I have many more ideas than I have time to implement, so naturally, my delivery rate is very low compared to my conception. Consequently, to keep myself from feeling like more of a failure, I unscrupulously murdered an idea; driven entirely by a mistaken notion that I should be able to act on every idea I have.

That’s clearly unrealistic and it’s unhealthy too. If I suppress new ideas because I don’t have room for them, eventually my mind gets the hint and stops producing them. I will have trained myself to become boring. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Perhaps you’re like me, with so many ideas, and so little time. Instead of immediately killing an idea because you already have too many (or worse, distrust yourself as I did), why not cultivate them instead?

Think of the many ideas you conceive as seeds you plant in the soil. Some seeds will germinate quickly. Others will take longer. Some will never see the light of day. And that’s okay.

Before you kill an idea, or feel you need to rush off and implement one, plant it on a cultivation list. Use a task manager system (I use Things) or Evernote to keep track of your next idea. I assign a “seed” tag or keyword to each idea to distinguish it easily from those I need to act on. But, by tagging them, they are nearby in case the internal and external conditions are just right for germination to take place.

How do you treat your new ideas?

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