I generate (entrepreneurial) ideas easily. However, because they are all lovely sounding ideas, I try to purse them all by splitting them all into chunks of my time. For example, if I want to learn Latin, produce a podcast, and start a cooking business, I will break them down into, say, 10 minutes of Latin in the morning, 3 hours of podcasting on the weekend, and 1 hour of cooking in the evenings.
But stretching my focus like this means that nothing really gets done quickly enough, and the lack of returns demotivates me. I then stop doing the activities as much if I am demotivated, and then end up on tiktok or twitter to pass the time. Then I get upset with myself for not doing all of the things I said I wanted to do. Then I blame myself for going on tiktok or twitter. And then I tyrannize myself even more. It’s a vicious cycle.
But now I realize that this cycle is not only unsustainable, it’s unnecessary. Just because I have an idea does not mean that I should pursue it. An idea is likely foolish, or has limited returns, or a time horizon that’s too long. Just because it came to me doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. What’s needed is a way to sort through all of those ideas and select one for being finishable, doable, and enjoyable.
Finishable meaning that the end goal is delineated, along with the steps necessary to get there. Doable means that I am willing and able to spend x hours every day or every week focusing on it. And enjoyable means that I will not feel like the activity is pointless while I’m doing it, or that I will not feel that I’m cutting myself off just when I’m getting the hang of it because it’s “time to do the next thing,” or that it’s not motivating in the long run.
As a solution, I’ll first write down the ideas I have in detail. I’ll critique them to try and find why it’s a stupid idea that isn’t finishable, doable, or enjoyable. Then, and only then, can it pass on into the pantheon of good ideas. Now, once it’s in the pantheon can I then consider it to be an idea I want to pursue, which would be good to pursue. Now is when I put money, time, and effort into the idea.