Monday, November 20, 2006

Idea flow rate

Last week I was skirting hypomania. Plenty work got done. Plenty energy. Struggled to sleep. And: PLENTY IDEAS.

But sitting here, Monday morning, wading through my TO DO list, I'm starting to think that the surge of ideas was counter-productive. Don't get me wrong, most of the best ideas I've ever had (shit maybe even all of them) have been produced in these super-charged idea surges. The problem is that it's impossible to actually keep up with implementing them all. I've got no doubt that if I did, I would have already made one of those billion $ sales to Google. But instead I sit here with an exploding and top-heavy TO DO list, and the pressure just builds and builds until it gets too much and drains all the energy out of me just looking at it. Kind of where I am right now.

It's especially a problem when you're working for yourself. In your own business there is infinite potential things to do. Your work isn't cut out for you by some HR departments specs. There's always something more you can do.

Thankfully I'm learning to deal a bit better with this high idea flow rate. Mostly by accident. First: my dictaphone broke down and I never replaced it. The dictaphone days were the worst - being scared to lose these brillaint ideas I used to babble them all into the dictaphone. Especially whilst I was driving. Then, next morning I'd dutifully transcribe them into my TO DO list or whatever other list they fell in.

But now I'm thinking, so fckn what if I forget the ideas. If they resurface again then I'll reconsider them. If not, they probably weren't that important or practical to start with. And, trust me, if something is important or critical it will always resurface. About 4 months ago I learnt this little secret first-hand. I was fiddling around deleting all my "Done" TO DO list items when I accidentally deleted the whole dang list! All 367 items. I kid you not.

My first reaction: CRISIS PANIC. I went into a flat spin. But by the next day I started feeling this huge weight off my shoulders. Liberated. Kind of like starting with a clean slate. How many of my ideas made it back to the TO DO list out of neccessity, and how many dissappeared into the wild blue ether, never to reappear, I will never know. But you know what? It doesn't fckn matter.

Happy Monday, people.


  1. In my later teen years while infrequently attending an alternative high school - I went to school, I just didn't attend many classes - I would often have great ideas which I usually presented to whomever was nearby with such encouraging expressions as "Hey! I could..." or "You know, you could...". My best friend at the time, who had probably heard one too many of my brilliant suggestions, came up with the perfect retort: "Get right on that, Gord."

  2. Yeah, it's great having all those supercharged ideas if you're working alone. Different story when you expect others to follow suit. When I think back to my explosions when I played in a band and the other guys didn't think it was a great idea to stay up all night and practice. It never occurred to me that I might have been the problem.

    Hey! Maybe I could go back and... err.. what was that about a TO DO list ;o)

  3. I can totally relate. I'm also bipolar type 1 and come up with lots of good ideas. Many I carry out; others are in the works. The danger is when you get others involved in your huge plans. Thankfully I'm working with someone now who I respect, and he's able to put the reigns on me quite well - though I'm in constant stress, straining to move ahead with my projects.

  4. LOLOL reminds me of when I write out my budget like 5 years in advance. I do that every so often and then never look at it again. When moving I found like 3 of those LOLOL


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