Part of being an entrepreneur is having a plethora of ideas. In fact, an idea was the birthplace of your business, am I right? It all begins with a little spark which, with a little nurturing, grew into the blazing fire it is today. But, sparks won’t turn into bonfires by themselves. If you aren’t taking action to nurture your ideas, they will begin to fade and eventually disappear.
Getting Stuck in Idea Mode
Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas, where an idea is understood as a basic element of thought that can be either visual, concrete, or abstract. ~Ben Jonson
Ideation is an essential part of the implementation process. Skipping this step can lead to a whole lot of problems that will cost you time and money. The only problem is, it is really easy to get stuck in idea mode and never complete the implementation process.
This phenomenon is referred to as Analysis Paralysis. To quote good ole Wikipedia,
Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.
Time spent in idea mode trying to figure out every detail, every possible outcome, or how to make your project perfect, may seem like due diligence, BUT spend too much time and you are only procrastinating.
So, how do you know when it is time to thinking and start taking action? Frankly, if you are asking this question, you should have started already.
Steps for Transitioning into Action Mode
Taking action and knowing where to start doesn’t come easily for every project. If you are stuck, here are some steps to take to get moving in the right direction:
1. Give yourself a deadline
I hate to say it, but without a deadline, your idea isn’t getting implemented. It is just going to sit on your to do list, gathering dust. So, set a due date. Once you have it set, work backwards to figure out when you need to complete the action steps in order to meet your deadline. Write out each target date on the calendar and schedule reminders.
2. Block off time to work on your idea
The number one response I get when I ask my clients why they haven’t implemented their idea is “I don’t have time to work on them.” or “I’ve been too busy.” But, what they are really saying is they haven’t prioritized time for it on their schedule.
The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. -Steven R. Covey
If you are working tasks day-to-day, your time will fill up before you get to your idea. Make it a priority and schedule out time blocks to coincide with your due dates. Your tasks can wait. I promise.
3. Create a short list of achievable action items
Now that you’ve blocked out some time, make a short list of things you KNOW you can accomplish during this time. Don’t try to over do it here. The idea is to set yourself up for success and feeling accomplished.
4. Check off your list and be proud of yourself
Do you love checking off completed tasks as much as I do? Then this will be your favorite step. Work your list and check those puppies off! Then, take a minute to feel proud — to feel accomplished. Give yourself a high-five and pour a glass of wine. You totally deserve it.
5. Get the support you need to be successful
If you are struggling, do a quick self-assessment to determine where you are having a hard time. Are you having trouble getting organized? Are you struggling to juggle your workload? Are you lacking in the accountability department? Whatever the challenge, there is someone out there who can help.
As part of Sinq’s Signature Solutions, we help our clients with things like organization, strategy, implementation and accountability through project management. We help them set deadlines and create their timeline. We help them figure out the actions steps they need to complete to finish their project. We send them reminders and follow up on the tasks, or we can implement the idea for them.
Never Stop Brainstorming
Just because you are ready to take some action doesn’t mean you should give up on new ideas. Write them down so you remember them and implement after you’ve finished implementing your current idea.
Connect with other Solopreneurs and Small Business Owners - Join Our Community
Ready to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs who have broken away from the corporate world and are running their businesses on their own terms? Join our free Facebook community, Indie Executives.