Have you ever been overwhelmed by too many ideas? It's both a blessing and curse for entrepreneurs. On one hand, it allows us to find potential business ideas. On the other, too many ideas can block us from making that an idea into a reality.
If you use these ten techniques, though, you'll be able to stay focused and start executing when you have all those heads taking up too much space in your head.
1. Know what you want.
Making great strides without a well-defined purpose will not bring positive results.
"It is essential that you are clear about what you want: what is your big 'Why?' What are you living to achieve that will motivate you when you wake up in the morning, that ignites your heart and makes you feel alive? Find that desire, first and foremost."
2. Do something that makes you frustrated.
What task or situation do you frequently encounter that drive you crazy? I'm sure that you can easily come-up with a lengthy list. But, instead of letting these annoyances ruin your day, look at them as business opportunities.
That's exactly what Colin Barceloux did in 2007. Barceloux was fed-up at the cost of college textbooks, so he launched Bookrenter.com which allows student to rent books at about a 60 percent discount. "You just have to look at what frustrates you," says Barceloux. "There's your business idea right there."
That's one of the reasons why I started Due.com. I was frustrated that there wasn't an invoicing tool specifically designed for freelancers.
3. Create buckets.
There's a popular productivity hack where you essentially visualize your life by diving it into various buckets. For example, you could have a bucket for work, one for your family, and another for your passion project. Whenever you have an idea, then you would write the idea down and place it into the relevant bucket.
If you notice that certain buckets remain empty, or haven't gathered many ideas, then it's time to move away from that bucket and focus on the bucket that is generating the most ideas. This gives you the chance to devote your energy into one area.
4. Get a little help from your friends.
"Partner up with a friend or colleague. Set goals or bounce ideas off of each other on a regular basis. Figure out if you want to chat once a week or once a month. If you can't commit to that, Facebook groups are an easy way to compare notes on a set day," suggests freelance writer Karen Cordaway.
"If you want to have a specific focus, pick something everyone in the group wants to improve upon. Maybe you're all looking to get better at online marketing, creating an online course or just figuring out how to invoice more effectively. Follow a podcaster or a bunch of different podcasts with similar topics. Each week someone in the group can pick an episode that everyone has to listen to that week. You can then comment, discuss takeaways and decide what you plan to implement after listening," Cordway concludes.
5. Assign a due date.
Even if these isn't a due date assigned to a project, make one up. I've found that this have been an effective technique in battling indecisiveness and provraination since it motivates to start working.
For example, if I have to write a blog post I give myself a deadline - let's say by the end of the next day. If not, I'll have too many ideas bouncing around in my head. However, if I have a deadline, I'll pick a topic and start writing immediately so that it's completed by the due date.
6. Find a niche.
Having a niche is one of the best ways to narrow down your ideas and start focusing on making it reality. If you were an author, as well as a baseball fanatic, you probably wouldn't write a book on the entire history of the game. That would be too ambitious and broad. Instead, you could write a biography of your favorite player or explore a fascinating incident that shaped the sport.
7. Record all of your ideas.
How can you being executing an idea when you have a million other ideas swirling around in your head? It's pretty much impossible. That's why David Allen recommends in his book Getting Things Done that you do a "core dump" every week. Essentially, you just write down all of your thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, and business ideas.
The idea is that all of these pieces of paper become a second brain, which means that it's not getting used for storage and frees it up to make more meaningful decisions.
With apps like Evernote, you can replace paper and record any thought that you have.
Another tactic that I use from time-to-time is to simply go for walk to clear my mind. Besides helping my focus, it also give me the chance to spot any other possible business opportunities while I'm out and about.
8. Clear your mind.
Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to clear your mind. And, when that happens, it's impossible to get focused when you can't turn off those other distracting thoughts. Writing coach Carolyn Roark, Ph.D, has developed an exercise that can help you get back on-track and "recenter your universe."
9. Worry about what you control.
We're all guilty of spending too much time and energy being concerned over things that we can't control. When starting a business things like not having a large enough market, government regulations, and too large of a cost to launch, are out of your control. So, why waste your time pursuing any ideas that simply aren't possible?
Instead, focus on what you can control and make any necessary modifications so that the idea is back in your hands.
10. Choose one thing and commit.
It's been proven that the human brain can't focus on more than one thing at a time. Pick one idea, establish a milestone, and commit to completing that goal. Even if this goal is to explore possible market for a business idea, at least completing the initial market research gives you a better understanding if you should pursue the idea any further or not.