Irrespective of our age/ education/ profession, we all face this common problem of not following through with our plans. None of is short of ideas and as soon as we get an idea we quickly turn that idea into a plan. But the problem is that these plans seldom become our practice. And as more and more of our plans fail to get implemented, we start to give up on our ides and slowly regress into a passive life where we accept that having control of our life and actions is probably a dream that never comes true.
So every time you get an idea which merits a plan make sure that you plan it such that you are able to turn that into a practice. Because if you don’t take your plans seriously, soon you will stop believing in your ideas.
How to be effective: Are all ideas worth your time?
The first thing we need to understand is that new ideas are as much a nuisance as they are a delight. Every time you get a new idea you change your current plan (unless you don’t have one) which is in a way a disrespect to your current plan. So before you start to spend your time on any idea, you need to objectively evaluate the idea and see if it going to help you improve in any way. The following pointers may help you with the same.
- Long term benefits: This is the first test that the idea has to pass. Whenever you get an idea, you need to ask yourself if that idea has any long term benefits. If not, you really should not be giving it much thought, unless there is some extremely personal reason for following it through. This is especially true of the ideas which will take considerable time to implement.
- Size of Deviation: The other thing you need to consider is how many changes would your current routine require to implement the idea. You need to list down these changes and try to assign the level of difficulty to each of those changes. If the list is too long and filled with too many difficult change, the idea is probably not for you or requires to be broken down into stages which you should focus on one at a time.
- SWOT it! It is the oldest strategic planning technique. In case you are not familiar with this technique, you can read about it here
If your idea passes these three filters, then the idea is definitely a good one and now you must start focusing on implementing your idea. For that, you need to break the idea down into actionable units.