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August 27, 2010 / Mike Biggs

How do you identify when you are having a fleeting idea and halt what you are doing in order to capture it

A photo of a cup of coffee.

Image via Wikipedia

Right now I am experiencing a rush of ideas, it’s frustrating me because if I am doing something other that writing them down, for example carrying on with regular everyday tasks like making a coffee or something, I am not sure if I have fully conceived of what the idea is and or whether I will remember it.

Should I stop what I am doing every few minutes to write down an idea? This would stifle producivity, but would ensure that all ideas are captured, or at least had the chance to be listened to if only by my own minds ear.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, keeping good records of your ideas is very important, as is the book that you keep them in. But what about making the Ad-Hoc time to extract them from your mind?

My other problem is that when I have an idea, or form a metaphoric and meaningful representation of a concept, I find it very easy to express is in a short and potent phrase or explanation, therefore when I go to write a lengthy article about my excellent findings, not much comes out. Do I really need to go on with multiple justifications? Why should I? My statements are based on information that I have received though multiple means, and could not possibly hope to bibliograph all of them. For example experience, how do you reference that? or ‘gut feel’ which is a perfectly valid support for an opinion as it is based on a multitude of small pieces of sample data you have collected over you lifetime. The outcome is that many of my potentially great ideas are left by the wayside because I cannot provide the lengthy justification that I assume any reader is looking for, maybe this is incorrect and I need to take the self indulgent narcisist’s view here and tell people how it is, and if they don’t like it I can go all Buddy Rich on them.

Ok so I did just have a coffee, and I am a little pumped, which is why this article is full of side tracks and no real answers.

The original question still stands however. How to you give yourself the time or a mechanism for cultivating and capturing a spawning idea even if only for around 30 seconds?

This will be my goal to answer in the next few days, stay tuned as I propose some methods.


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