My brain is an idea factory

My brain is an idea factory

My brain’s an idea factory, but my body’s limited.

I don’t know about you, but I go through lots of energetic ups and downs through my weeks and months. There are a handful of factors that effect my energy- the moon cycle, the seasons, my own cycle, whether I’ve been exercising, the weather etc. But one thing that never seems to stop is my brain. There’s lots of clutter- thoughts about what I’m not doing right, what I’m not doing fast enough, what’s missing in my life- all that negative self talk. (If you need help taming the negative self talk, grab my free guide: taming your inner critic). But in the midst of all of the useless negative thoughts, there’s gold. I feel like I’m an idea factory, that I’ve always got new ideas for my business, my art, travel, and my home.

Yet, I have yet to figure out how to beat the limitation on my physical form. My body can’t keep up with all my new ideas and projects. There’s no way I can physically build a new website, join a new networking group, start a new eating regimen (no diets for me) launch a new program (which is happening this spring- be on the watch for a business organizing group mastermind) and keep up with everything I’m already doing. I’ll burn out faster than my kids can burn their toast. And there’s many moments when I don’t even have energy for anything new or everything I’m already doing.

So…. what’s a girl to do? I don’t want to shut down the idea factory of my brain and let my inner mean girl take charge- ohhh no, that bad for everyone I’m around.

Instead I’ve been keeping a someday/ maybe list for years- it’s an idea I learned about from David Allen- the GTD creator. The big idea behind his work is that our brains are for higher level thinking not storing our grocery list. In order to keep your brain free for all that higher level thinking, you should capture everything- on paper, in a task manager, or on a notes app in your phone. Yet if you’ve ever done a brain dump, you’ll know there’s always more items on the list than you can accomplish in the foreseeable future. This reality can be a sure-fire way for me to lose all energy and decide it’s time to get lost in Facebook or whatever article pocket is suggesting I read. One way I keep myself from getting lost in the black hole of the internet while avoiding the paralysis over my never-ending to-do list, is to pull things off my to-do list that can’t happen right now and add them to my someday/ maybe list.

My someday/maybe list contains items like, plan that trip to Paris in summer of 2020, create a paper organizing challenge for business owners, replace all the malfunctioning door knobs in my house, host a weekend retreat, clean out my entire house so I can move, and more. These are things that can’t happen right now for different reasons- it’s not the right time of the year, I’m focusing on other things, it might not be worth it to do, it’s too far into the future….. It doesn’t really matter why ideas end up on the someday/maybe list, it’s just great to capture them. I don’t forget my great ideas and maybe I’ll even act on it in the future. I’m more relaxed without all that extra chatter in my head and knowing my ideas are safe in my list where I can look at them when I am planning long term or I’m thinking about travel for my family.

Sometimes it can be hard to decide what to delay, what items to take off your current to-do list and add to the someday/ maybe list. If you have trouble deciding if something goes on the someday/maybe list this article about avoiding burn-out or this one on prioritizing might help. No matter what, I encourage you to give the someday/ maybe list a try and then let me know how it helps clear your mental clutter. (just don’t let the inner critic take over!)