How to take control of your inspiration
Next time you think of something you should do, do it. Do it within 24 hours. Better yet, do it within 12 hours or 6 hours. It could be for your personal life, work life, or something in between, but acting on these creative impulses in a timely manner will improve your Inspiration Reaction as well as your productivity.
What’s your Inspiration Reaction?
It’s how you actively manage the daily inspiring thoughts and ideas you dream up. These ideas often come at inconvenient times. That’s understandable. Your life is fast-paced. You don’t always have time to stop and contemplate. But, if you let your inspiration lie by the wayside, every minute you wait is the time you lose. Your inspiration slowly gets dimmer and eventually dies.
If your Inspiration Reaction is good, you’ll capture this creative energy before it gives in to complacency and procrastination. If your Inspiration Reaction is poor, you let great ideas die by letting them sit too long, and forgetting great ideas can lead to implementing bad ones.
Prioritize, of course.
Put the most important tasks on top of the to-do list, improving your reaction time, and put anything else in your Spark File. However, whatever you do, don’t simply record ideas without diving deeper. That leads to long lists and little action. Share your extraordinary ideas with others right away and strengthen cooperation and collaboration between your cohorts and cohabitors. That will bring you much further than just an idea. You’ll experience instant feedback that will improve the idea as a whole, potentially leading to something you can test that day.
At every startup office I’ve worked in we encourage quick cycle times. That means you can test assumptions, iterate and improve in a shorter timeframe than it takes normally to recognize what isn’t working, allowing our team to try ideas and modify easier. Think Agile development, but for every business unit or activity. Waiting until information is statistically significant is also important, but not always necessary to glean insights from your users, or even from your team. Always listen to those around you, externally or internally.
Quick guide for your first few hours post-inspiration
(1) Inspiration occurs. Your brain is ticking.
(2) Recognize and react to the inspiration. Mentally prioritize and plan your action.
(3) Record it quickly. Write it down; use Evernote or voice notes.
(4) Share it with relevant parties you trust. Friends, co-workers, idea-makers.
(5) Prioritize and act on it. Don’t lose the inspiration!
Inspiration Recognition isn’t anything new, and you can use this same idea for other “reactions.” Think about emails for example. It’s proven that faster responses are better received by your correspondent. You could make or break your business on how quickly you respond to key clients, important investors, or team members. Apply the same model above and you can quickly decide on the go, reacting faster and more efficiently to your inbox.