The speed of ideas (and your ability to keep up)


New ideas come at you constantly. You may not always see them, or think of them as ideas relevant to your life or your business, but they’re all around you all of the time.

Your first challenge, of course, is to separate the wheat from the chaff. Which ideas are truly relevant? Which could have an impact? Which are most important?

Which are worth trying?

Of course, every new idea throws a little bite-sized chaos into your world. The new idea is unplanned for, unexpected, and not on your current to-do list.

Because new ideas don’t immediately fit into our workflow, our initial reaction might be negative – even if the idea could be more valuable to our life or work than something we’re already doing. Why? It’s seen initially as a distraction. An interruption. A change in course from what we expected to do today.

But it’s important to step back for just a few seconds, think objectively about that new idea, and put it into its proper place. Should you set it aside to give it more careful, dedicated time to incubate in your mind? Is it so fantastic that you should start working on it right away? Or is it truly not important enough to address right now – and hence can either be round-filed, or filed away for reconsideration in a few weeks, months or even a year from now?

Ideas are the lifeblood of innovation and successful companies. Don’t treat them as annoyances and distractions, just because they’re different. Give them the time they deserve, and encourage everyone (and everything) around you to keep them coming.