Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Grabbing hold of that idea.

You have to find a way of working that makes it dead easy to take full advantage of your inspired moments. They never hit at a convenient time, nor do they last long.

Hugh McLeod

Ideas are a little like leprechauns. Take your eyes off them and they are gone, taking the pot of gold with them. Knowing that they can be so elusive, why is it that we go through our days completely unprepared to capture the idea when it arrives?

Keeping track of your ideas can be a really difficult thing to do without ending up with little scraps of paper littering the place and usually getting lost. How often do you find yourself scrabbling through your purse or pockets looking for something to write on? Hugh McLeod used to write on the back of business cards because they were they only blank surfaces he could find in his wallet (which, by the way, led him to develop his successful cartoon skills).

The most frustrating part about having a brainwave is that it usually hits me in my sleep. Now how can I record that brilliant thought that I had? It is not always with me when I wake. Perhaps I should learn to sleepwrite.

Many of us are caught short at that critical time between idea landing and idea evaporation so why don't we get ready before the event? What about developing a system for recording ideas at any given moment? The method you use will depend on how you spend your time but it will need to be portable and easy to access. Many of us have a little notebook that we keep with is at all times so we can jot the ideas down while they are still hot. This is so much better than trying to find the little bits of paper you have scribbled on and then lost along the way.

What can you do to keep hold of the inspiration?

Ring yourself and leave a message on your voice mail.
Email yourself with the details.
Use a PDA.
Tell someone else - two heads are better than one.
Keep a blank page at the back of your order book.
Jot it down as a document on your computer and save it for later.
Buy a keyring with mini notebook attachment.

Whatever method you choose will only be successful if you are prepared. You don't leave the house without your keys, or start work without turning on your computer. Make your idea catching preparation part of you regular daily routine. Never take you eyes off the leprechaun.