That’s where all of the crazy ideas I have are made. In this strange place I come up with a load of really great and crazy ideas – like inventing new forms of producing electricity, creating devices that can read the thoughts and performing crazy experiments that only a mad scientist would dare to do. The problem however, is that the very many crazy and sometimes practical ideas would just die there.
Well, after listening to a couple of influencers in the productivity niche, I discovered that I was not alone. In fact, a lot of people have the very same problem. They come up with very good ideas but nothing comes out of those ideas. In fact, very few write them down or even tell people close to them what their ideas are. I am somebody who doesn’t like facing the same problem over and over and over again so I sought to seek a solution to this problem.
Maputiatotaland Adventures: Part One – A stormy winter
Who doesn’t like adventures? Well I do! So back to the story… I wanted a solution to my problem so I did what any other person would do – I looked up “how to get stuff done” on Google and on YouTube. I met a lot of blog articles that were incredibly boring to read and really motivating videos filled with guys with 6 packs and all that epic music. I was going to send this problem to the grave! After getting pumped up with motivation, I decided that it was time. It was time for me to say goodbye to my problem.
How was that going to work? How was I going to magically turn on the “get stuff done” switch?
That’s a question that I asked myself after coming up with even more crazy ideas (this time these were ideas that were actually practical). I saw myself just telling myself that “I can do it!” Being a believer in the law of attraction, I thought that I was just doing it wrong and thinking on the wrong frequency and focusing on negative energy.
To cut the long story short, I discovered that the motivational stuff and all those shallow blog posts were just rubbish. They just played with my emotions and filled me with potential energy but I got zero work done.
Part Two: Back to the drawing board
I needed to come up with real tips and tricks that work. I asked myself “What should I do?” I then did what any normal person would do – I decided to write down all the ideas in my head. Some ideas got into my to do list. Some got written into my counterbook. Some got written somewhere I don’t know. Did anything get done? You guessed it – NO! I found myself preparing for the next year and I realized that I had a ton of things on my to do list. I accidentally bumped into some stuff that was written in my very many counterbooks and I found a lot of important ideas written down but my handwriting is so ugly that it has expiry dates. After the expiry date (which ranges from a few seconds to a few years), I won’t be able to read what I would have written. A lot of ideas had “expired”.
This was a fail.
Part Three: Redemption?
I had to fix this problem. I consider myself to be intelligent so I decided to approach this manner in a highly intelligent manner. I decided to do what most intelligent people do – I repeated the methods that I clearly knew that they didn’t work expecting them to magically produce positive results. When they didn’t produce the results I wanted, I put the blame on something. In 2015, I blamed myself for not having a diary. In 2016, I blamed myself for still not having a diary. In 2017, I blamed technology. In 2018, I blamed technology again after losing my planning document for the year (that was a really huge bummer). In 2019, I blamed technology, not having a diary and my bad handwriting.
It is only after seeing a clear pattern, that I was just blaming stuff and not actually doing anything that I decided to continue to look for sustainable solutions to the problem.
And I finally found the solution.
You see, we are all used to approaching the world in isolation. Let’s have an example. Have you ever been late to work? We all have. Most people are late to work because they approach the world in isolation. Here’s how they view the process:
Step 1: Wake up late
Step 2: Eat the well prepared breakfast meal
Step 3: ??? - Magic
Step 4: Get to work in time
But we all know that the world doesn’t work that way. Using the example above, you will see that waking up late will mean that you won’t have time to prepare your breakfast and that means you’ll be even more late, and that means that you’ll probably spill some hot coffee on your clothes and… you get it.
The same approach comes to ideas and execution. I learnt that when you have ideas, you need to process them there and then. Some ideas are great, but are not worth executing. Let those die. Such ideas include figuring out how long you can drive in the reverse gear, figuring out how many litres of water you can chug down your throat at once and how to make your dog talk to you.
The next group of ideas are those that are worth executing. Just because something is worth executing doesn’t mean that YOU have to execute it. Some stuff won’t really add any value to your life in the long run, and some stuff needs to be delegated.
The last group of ideas are those that are worth executing and YOU have to execute them. These are the ideas that you jot down AND set a date/month where you will work on them during your weekly review session. Such ideas include trying out new fancy recipes for making cocktails (if you work part time as a bartender), learning a new skill that you really need (like how to use ZOOM. Yes that’s a skill), and crazy ideas that just might change the world in the future.
Through creating a system I managed to win. I created the right environment (listening to business/productivity podcasts for just 30 – 45 mins in the morning and/or evening), I created a place to jot down ideas and I scheduled weekly evaluations in which I went through those ideas and set dates to take action on them. That’s how I eventually won and that’s how you can too.
Well, that’s it for the week! See you next week Wednesday!
Psst! Still here? Well, go through my other articles and have fun. Don’t feel like doing that? Well then, head over to twitter @maputiatota and follow me : )
Have a great week!