As I finished writing & scheduling my post for yesterday 28th September, a former colleague from college buzzed me online to provide feedback about this thinking series & asked a practical question.
He asked if I had a post on “how to effectively organize our thoughts & ideas“. This is huge for me coming from someone I consider a highly intellectual person. I thought I was a geek until I met him, he tows the line of great thinkers & inventors & its a privilege for me to try to answer his question.
To be honest, I don’t have “12 steps to effectively organize your thoughts & ideas” & I don’t claim to be an authority in this area. All I promised to do on my blog is to share what I have done & doing, what has worked & is working for me & I believe my results validates the principles I share & silences any argument.
Here are practical ways I organize my thoughts & ideas:
1. I know what makes me tick: As I mentioned before your life goes in the direction of your most dominant thought. I’ve also discovered that your thoughts moves in the direction of what you are passionate about. You must know what makes you tick as an individual. I had a post about this & I’m driven by the fact that I’ve been blessed to be a blessing to others, so any thought or idea I have goes through that filter automatically.
Everyone around me knows I am passionate about personal development, I love to mentor & coach people the same way I was mentored & coached by others. I am all out for teenagers & young adults to help them make the right choices as they grow up & face societal challenges. Again I organize & filter all my ideas through this.
2. I write the thoughts & ideas down: As I’ve shared before you need to write down these thoughts & ideas. Pastor J.T. Kalejaiye usually says, “the shortest pencil is more effective than a long memory“.
What I have discovered is that some of those ideas might not sound so fantastic after you read it to yourself again. But on the flip side, some of them might be gems that are worth working on.
Before I wasn’t really good at writing ideas down, I just believe I have a good memory & that I wont forget. But there are tons of thoughts & ideas that I have forgotten already.
Practically what I do now is to use Evernote ( which I sync across all of my devices), so when any idea or thought comes to my mind I write it down & review later. Even at work I have a notebook that I use specifically for the same purpose.
3. I create a boundary for my thoughts: This is related to the first point, in this technology intense age, our minds are being bombarded every second & we tend to just drift from one thought or idea to another at a very high speed. We need to create a boundary, this can be achieved by focusing on the areas that we are passionate about as well as ensuring that we are exposed to only Good input. Philipians4:8 (MSG) is a great guide.
We need to shift from being an ice cube thinker to an Iceberg thinker. It takes a lot of work & practice to keep a thought, ruminate on it, let it sink in, pick it up again, do more research about it, roll it over, etc, but its a worthy investment.
4. I classify my thoughts & ideas: To effectively organize my thoughts & Ideas, I classify them in the following manner:
a) Using Steven Covey’s 2×2 priority matrix, I ask myself 4 questions:
i) Is it very urgent & important?
ii) Is it very important, but not urgent?
iii) Is it very urgent, but not very important?
iv) is it not urgent & not important?
b) Based on requirement: Each thought or idea comes with their unique requirements. Some may need time ( maybe I need to do more research), some may need money, some ideas may need partners to make it a reality ( I’ve discovered that most big ideas require more than just yourself to accomplish). I can safely say that if your ideas always require just you to do it then it’s a small idea.
I have been blessed with a crop of individuals who act as sounding boards for my ideas. My wife is one of them & I get to effectively organize my thoughts based on their inputs & they usually make my ideas better.
To be honest, after writing these 4 points above,I couldn’t help but Google just to see what has been written by others about the topic ( not that I need the validation) & I encourage everyone to do the same.
The only point I would add is the need for exercise & relaxation.
5. I exercise & Relax: I have written in some recent posts about the importance of unplugging, finding your play & relaxing. This is also a key to effectively organizing our thoughts & ideas, I have realized that whenever I have clutters or unresolved issues in my mind it has an effect on my work, my relationships, etc.
What I usually do is go play Tennis or swim & I’ve recently added walking & light running( with music in my ears of course!).
This totally resets me & gets my mind back in it’s groove.
I do hope that these few points will help my college buddie as well as others who require help in organizing their thoughts & ideas effectively.
Do you have other ways that helps organize your thoughts & ideas? please share with us.
This is my snippet, I AM SHALOMESQ