Ever have a great idea while you’re driving or in the shower and it’s a major light bulb moment? It’s happened to all of us. Then you go on with your commute or your morning routine and the next thing you know it’s gone. And what’s worse, the creativity never seems to come when you need it: at your desk in front of your computer or with a pen in hand.
Never fear! Here are some ways you can capture those great ideas!
1) Keep a pen and paper everywhere
Notebooks are cheap! Pick up a spiral notebook and a pack of pens and put it by the bed or on the sink or in the glove box. You don’t have to write out a detailed plan of what your idea is or how to execute it. You can think about that stuff later. For right now, just jot down one or two key words that’ll jog your memory later.
2) Tell someone else ASAP (or repeat it to yourself)
The problem with ideas is that they come up at the most inconvenient times; when you’re wet, your hands are full, or you can’t write anything down. So use that hands-free headset and call someone and tell them. They might not remember either, but another brain doubles the odds!
3) Take it digital
Text yourself. Leave yourself a voice mail. E-mail yourself. If it’s an idea that can be shared, post it on social media. Let’s be honest: you always have your phone on you.
4) Stay organized
These little random memos to yourself can very easily get lost. Try to make an “idea collection” minute as part of your morning routine. Take a second to gather those ideas and decide if they are worth pursing or even holding on to. Some of them might go right into the trash bin, but that’s ok!
5) Don’t be afraid to ask for a second to jot something down
Say the great idea occurs to you in a meeting, but it’s your turn to talk. It’ll cost an extra second or two and a quick apology to explain to the rest of the meeting attendees that you need a second to jot down an idea. We’ve all been there, and you have the added bonus of actually demonstrating you are a thinker with ideas worth remembering!
There are going to be ideas that slip through the cracks. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to pull them back up out of the subconscious or wherever they fly off to. That’s ok! Great ideas aren’t a one-time thing. You’ll have another one!
Your AMS is a great place to jot down ideas and share them with members!