Ideas to Action: The Little Engine That Could

I’ve often said that everyone has good ideas; it’s those who do something with them that succeed.

One of the most difficult things to do is convert an idea into action.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an idea for a new business or for getting new clients, a personal or professional goal, or simply visiting a new place in the world, getting it from inside our heads to the light of day is often a struggle. 

One of the biggest struggles is simply finding the time to make it happen.  Yet, time management is not really at issue here.  The real issue is prioritization.  It’s amazing what gets done simply because we decide it’s going to get done or because it is assigned some “obvious” higher priority.  High priority items are always get high priority.  No argument, right?  A bit of a circular argument if you ask me.  My challenge to you is to change that perspective. 

What I’m asking you to do is reconsider what is high priority and what isn’t.  Before tossing your coffee at the screen or stomping away from the computer convinced I’m a soft-on-work nut, consider my perspective:  Accomplish makes me feel good.  Feeling good is my definition of success.  Therefore, the more I accomplish the more successful I am.  As a result, I strongly believe in getting as much done as possible, professionally and personally, to maximize the sense of success I enjoy.

I think you’ll find that layering this accomplishment perspective onto the priority question drives some different decisions making.  Specifically, to get ideas to actions, you must really decide if the accomplishment of the idea will make you feel better.  If so, then you need to proceed to the hard part – prioritize accordingly and define the specific tasks necessary to convert the idea into action.

In addition, you’ll realize that a lot of good ideas are just that – good ideas.  They aren’t necessarily going to significantly increase your sense of satisfaction and well being if accomplished.  Moreover, you may find that  the arduousness of accomplishment doesn’t merit the reward that accomplishment will deliver. 

Try blending how valuable accomplishing a good idea will be with the effort required before you determine what priority the good idea has.  You’ll find it greatly helps in the initial decision making stage, which is often the most ambiguous.

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