When Your Ideas Are Bigger Than Your Time

Filed in Skill Building by on December 17, 2015 0 Comments

Most of us have heard the saying, “Your eyes were bigger than your stomach,” when you had more food on your plate than you could possibly eat. But there is a similar phenomenon with creative people. Creatives will often come up with more ideas than they can actually create.

When your ideas are bigger than your time

For some creatives, this is a constant state of being. They are constantly dreaming up new ideas and creations, many more than could ever be implemented. Most of these hyper-creative people end up in a career that allows them to use this power on a daily basis. But then there are the rest of us who have varying degrees of “big ideas.”

Although I am creative (we all are), I rarely will classify myself as a creative with a capital “C”. I am much more in the logical or analytical world. I just use creativity as an outlet or as a method to solving other problems. Even so, I occasionally will have bouts of “big ideas” where there are more things I want to accomplish than can possibly get done in the time allotted. For many folks, this condition comes to a head near the end of the year with expectation of meeting final goals, gift giving and the illusion of extra time in the disguise of “time off.”

This year I have been having a bit of the “big idea” syndrome around wrapping up some goals. However, I have also learned how to manage the big ideas without completely losing face or inspiration. So as we approach the last few weeks of the year, I thought I would share some of my tactics for managing “big ideas” in a way I have found to be productive.

Don’t Lose Track

Begin by recording all big ideas as soon as you have them, even ones you aren’t quite sure of. Sometimes they really are just the seed for something much bigger later on. This can be done in a journal, task list or other mechanism. Just make sure it is something you will keep around and will occasionally come back to and review. I use a task list and have place for ideas with no actual due date.

Prioritize Along with Everything Else

Sometimes a good idea is ripe for the picking, other times it needs to mature a bit. Just because something is new and exciting doesn’t mean it is the best use of your time right now. This is just as true for “important” tasks as it is for our hobbies. A good project will always be a good project, but maybe waiting will reveal the PERFECT yarn and make it even better. But that also means you need to review the whole list from time to time to make sure you don’t miss something that is ready to go now.

Quality Is Almost Always More Important Than Quantity

Rushing something rarely produces a pleasing final result. Even when you know it would be “perfect” right now, if it isn’t your best work, it won’t really be perfect anyway. Sometimes this means that we need to push things out further in our schedule to ensure the finished result is what we were actually hoping to achieve. Besides, the additional pressure and stress rarely result in a better product and usually quickly zap the excitement and  joy that got us started in the first place.

Remember Time Is a Limited Resource

No matter how long we have on this earth, eventually it will come to an end. And not all “big ideas” are created equal. Invest your time wisely doing the things you love, that bring joy to others or serve a bigger purpose and you will rarely go astray.

Now, all I need to do is apply this process to my big ideas and I will be ready to go!


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