Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Dealing with Ideas that Won’t Die

Sometimes, I have an idea that just won’t get out of my head.

I’m trying to prioritize my efforts and focus on what I am doing.

I have scheduled when I am going to address this idea.

I’ve put all the sub-ideas and research in its own little pile to be dealt with later.

And yet, the idea still knocks around – taking up valuable cognitive bandwidth.

It happens.

I find myself asking two questions of this idea when it does.

  1. What is so compelling about this idea? What is the fantasy surrounding it?
  2. Am I using “researching” this idea as an excuse to avoid the challenging part of my current project? Is this just resistance in disguise?

Usually, the idea speaks to a “fantasy self” that I am nowhere near becoming.

The idea also tends to be in the “hobby” area of my life.

The area where I am not necessarily wedded to it becoming part of my professional identity, but “wouldn’t it be nice if…”

The area where if I DID decide to “go pro,” I’d probably be disappointed.

And…I’m procrastinating.

I don’t want to do the hard thing I have to do to get my current project done.

The more fear around the hard thing I need to do around my current project…the more likely I am to start fantasizing over this distractor-project.

I don’t really have a tidy answer other than – see the distractor for what it is, write down what you need to so you can address it later, and get back to work.

As soon as I come up with a way to get rid of the distractors altogether, I’ll let you know.

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