It's so easy to feel a bit overwhelmed in this industry, I often have a huge amount of ideas, dreams and goals going on all at once. When this happens I start to feel a little nervous and worried I'm going to forget one of these important ideas that could be what helps me make it as an established designer or that gets me to the next stage of my career.
I'm sure many of you are the same, it's when ideas come out of nowhere, something just seems to spark when you are doing the most mundane job! These ideas and plans can come from absolutely anywhere and from everything around you. With all of these ideas going on it is so easy not to know where to start, this is usually where I become less productive because I'm thinking through each route before I decide what order to tackle them in. By this point more ideas have sprung up and I'm even more lost!
I'm on a mission to make it in this industry, so this needs to be tackled and I need to be utilising all of the time I have (show of hands for those of you that could use more hours in the day!). I'm going at this head on, I'll bring in better ways of organising these thoughts and plans and instead of wasting time on triple thinking each and every route and I will find a way of cutting this time wasting down.
It's so important to get your thoughts in line and plan the future of your business so you use your time more effectively. This is going to be a series of blogposts that will hopefully help others in the same situation.
Ok so today's tip is a way of keeping track of all of those ideas. No one can possibly do everything at once, you need to pick and choose, this isn't to say you shouldn't keep notes of any ideas you come up with! They may be future money makers, ideas for future products or generally things you need to do to make your business better but just don't have the time at the present.
What I have begun doing is carrying a small notebook around with me, A6 is a good size as you can pop it in your pocket, but A5 can fit in your handbag too! I use this to write down anything that happens to come into my head that I would like to look into. I date the top of the page so I know how long I've been holding onto a certain point and give them a colour code at the end of the day or week.
Green for GO! - These are the ideas I want to address in the short term, those ideas you just don't want to sit on and can't wait to get working on. These will be the most important for your business at this point in time. You can then add these into your daily/weekly/monthly plans (more on this at a later date!)
Orange for ON HOLD! - These points are the ones that have sparked your interest and you feel they would be good for your business but you need to slot some other details in before you can act on these. They may be ones you just don't have the money or time to address yet, make a little note of why you can't do them and put them to the back of your mind. These points shouldn't be worrying you anymore, you've written them down so you won't forget them!
Red for REACH! - These are the goals you are reaching for, the ideas that will come into play at some point in the distance. These could be products you would want to look into getting manufactured, businesses you would dream of working with, bigger marketing plans. These are the huge ideas that are just too big a project for a smaller business or the clients you feel you aren't ready to go for.
If there are any ideas you liked at first look but once you've researched a little around it you feel it just isn't right for you or your business then keep a list of these points and the reasons why. This will stop you coming back to them (which is a waste of your time if you've already looked into it!), so track them in the back of your notebook.
Hopefully this system will help you feel a little less stressed out and the likeliness of you forgetting something amazing has vanished! I know it has helped me massively and I have been able to build up goals from these colour codes. You can even give your notebook a little makeover by covering it with your own pretty pattern, much nicer to carry around now!
How do you tackle all of the ideas you get for your business? Do you have another system or way of keeping track of them all?
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Don't miss out on Part 2 and Part 3!