I am a dreamer; I have constantly new ideas and think about projects I would like to do. On the other hand I am lacking the ability to really filter the ideas I need to concentrate on, pursue and commit myself to. That is more an issue for me than getting the right tools or skills to realize them. Honestly, I think this issue is keeping me from becoming a happier me. I am not completely sure how to break that cycle, but I think that I am not the only one who has that kind of problem.
Here are some thoughts about that.
Until now I always had an idealized understanding of getting ideas and following them. I never rationalized or questioned an idea, because at that moment, it was the most important thought I had. All ideas were important and had to be remembered or written down and probably followed. All ideas had the same weight and importance at the beginning. Time or energy (or often lack of it) showed in the end if I could make an idea happen or not. But that trial and error procedure is quite tiring even if I speak about projects in my free time.
Following questions you can ask yourself to make things more clear and easier to filter. These kind of questions are important for companies to make decisions about the ideas from their employees (often called idea or innovation management), but the methods and questions can be valid for individuals too.
Does realizing an idea gives you any benefit?
It can be new friends, a new skill or even money. The question aims on the time-wasting but not very rewarding ideas.
Will the idea give you a benefit in short and long term?
Not only is there a benefit, but will it be worthwile in the future?
Does realizing the idea fits in your current situation and plans for the future?
Avoid distractions which lead you away from the things you want to achieve currently in your life.
Will you be supported by your environment if realizing an idea?
If your family and friends (not a single opinion but in majority) thinks that an idea is quite stupid to follow, then you probably shouldn’t. Not that the idea is neccessary bad but maybe it is the wrong time. Without support you will have to avoid issues with your loved ones constantly and have a much harder time to follow your idea. You would waste time and energy just on that issue.
Will you have enough time and/or money to follow your idea?
One of the more obvious questions and probably asked most of the time… or at least in the end when the idea crumbles away.
If you have a catalog of ideas or a new one comes along, evaluate and decide.
Don’t do it. There are strong reasons not to realize it or reconsider it in the future. Throw it away.
Wait. A reason, which can or will change in the future stands in the way of the idea, like i.e. time restriction. You know that will change. Then keep the idea and reevaluate later.
Change it. There are reasons against it but in another form the idea can be great. Take time to change your idea and reevaluate later.
Go for it. Plan and realize it and become a more happy person.
I will keep you informed if that works for me.
Just an idea.