Too Many Ideas

Five things that you could do if you end up having too many ideas and thus never end up finishing anything

What happens whenever you aren’t able to manage your overload of ideas? Do you just leave them or do you finish what you began to think about?

Handling several ideas and goals such as writing, exercising, reading more, waking up earlier, and many others, is difficult to do. Often times, it starts out with a lot of excitement, but then it results in procrastination which results in failure to finish a single one of the ideas that you began.

Here are five various things that you can do when you feel overwhelmed from all of your ideas and goals.

Why aren’t we able to go through with our ideas?

“I have too many ideas for a lifetime.” - Taylor Wilson

In 2003, Sheena Iyengar, a Psychologist and Professor at Columbia Business School had run an 800,000 employee study to evaluate how adding more investment choices impacted their participation in retirement saving plans.

At the final part of the study period, the researchers had collected information and plotted the outcomes to answer, “Would more staff be a part of retirement saving plans if they had more investment choices to choose from?”

As we’d assume, the answer’s “yes” since the choice is a whole lot better. However, is this really what the researchers concluded as well?

The researchers found out that by adding more investment choices, it decreased the percentage of staff taking part in retirement saving plans.

Just as the diagram above states, for every 10 funds that are added to the selection of options, the rate of participation decreases by 2%. In fact, for those staff who chose to invest, adding more investment choices boosted the chances that staff would put money into more conservative funds.

That’s the paradox of choice; the more choice that there is the less action there is. Therefore, the more ideas and goals that we go after, the less likely we are to go through any of them and the other way around.

There are other reasons as to why we fail to finish what we begin. Not having enough time, fearing failure, being overwhelmed by several choices that rid us of our energy and a decrease of excitement after beginning a new project can cause chronic procrastination.

Whenever we get stranded in motion while at rest instead of being in motion during action, both our time and energy are wasted on efforts that result in very little.

Here are five different ways that you can keep yourself from getting overwhelmed, getting started, and going through with your ideas.

Five ways to get over the “Too Many Ideas” Syndrome

1. Make mini-deadlines

The greater amount of time that it takes to do a task, the greater the chance that we’ll fall victim to “Parkinson’s Law”. This law states that work expands in order to fill the time that there is to complete it.

For instance, if you’ve got a week to do a three-hour task, based on Parkinson’s Law, the task will become more difficult and continue to drag on for the entirety for the week. The best way to deal with this issue is to make mini-deadlines that push you to complete your tasks within a small amount of time.

To accomplish this: Make a list of your daily tasks and write down about how long it takes to do every single one of them. Afterward, decrease the time limit of every task by half. Try to finish every task by your set deadlines.

2. Make sure you use the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule, in Iayman’s terms, claims that twenty percent of whatever you do impacts eighty percent of the results that you receive. This means that each task can be broken down into activities that will either go into the 20% or the 80% group.

For instance, if your objective is to exercise more often and lose weight, there are a few exercises that are 20% such as high intensity sprints, which will make a big impact on your weight loss journey in a greater way than the 80% of say stretching.

The main part of this is to experiment, figure out, and focus both your time and energy on the 20% activities that result in the biggest outcomes. As a result, you are able to do so much more by doing so much less in a shorter span of time.

3. Don’t second-guess your gut

Typically, we hesitate to begin and proceed with our ideas as we are afraid of failure, rejection, as well as self-doubt. Hour after hour is spent on both researching and planning to proceed, however, when it’s time to jump ship, we remain on the boat and then fail to go through with what we planned on doing.

In the book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (audiobook), Malcom Gladwell, a world-renowned journalist, made a solid case that, often times, snap judgements that are made in a span of seconds result in better choices rather than the more cautious, thoroughly planned way.

The next time that you don’t quite know what to do next, or how to do it, trust your first instinct and proceed with it the second that it pops into your head as more often than not, you’ll most likely be headed in the right direction.

4. Foster the habit of completion

A lot of people have gotten the hand of beginning, but not many have created a habit of ending. Beginning is much simpler than finishing, however, the majority of the outcomes that we are going after are at the end.

The process of creating the habit of completion is just as any other type of habit. Begin small and then work your way up with a reasonable expectation of the amount of time that it will take for a habit for form.

Afterward, you can make minor alterations to your environment so that it’s simpler to complete whatever objective you’ve given yourself.

5. Try quitting

A concept not familiar to many is the fact that the most productive and successful people bail on their goals very often as they understand what it is that they need to quit and the best time to do so.

The advantage of quitting is that you move the time and energy that you’ve wasted on an unfruitful idea or goal towards one that’s much more rewarding in the end.

Just do this quick inventory check: should the costs of going after an idea outweigh each benefit over a span of time, maybe it’s time to think about decreasing your losses. It may be difficult at the beginning, but over time, you’ll have more time to focus on ideas that are better.