Sunday, May 22, 2011

 

How to remember more of your brilliant ideas

Mind like water, memory like a sieve.

At least five times in the past week, I've had an idea while driving. Thanks to Dial2Do (and hands-free Bluetooth if you're reading this, highway patrol), I quickly leave myself a message. When I eventually check my email (where my message has been translated and delivered), I realized all five times that I'd already forgotten the idea. My brain had moved onto something else, and that thought was lost in the process.

Without the instant capture, those ideas may have been gone forever.

The best way to allow yourself to be innovative, to free-form new ideas, is to practice "mind like water." That means, basically, to let your brain improvise. Let it go where it wants. And when it lands on something good, write it down (or record it), so you can stop thinking about it and return your brain to the improvisational stage.

The trick to this, of course, is to write down or otherwise record as many of those "random" ideas and thoughts as possible, as soon as they happen. That means carrying pen and paper as often as possible. Using services such as Dial2Do or a digital voice recorder when driving or exercising. Pens that work on tile in the shower, even.

Not every ideas is brilliant. Most, in, fact, are either mundane or, on second thought, not a priority right now anyway. But you're not worried about quality, just capture rate.

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