March 27, 2019

How do you guys deal with idea distractions?

Fernanda Graciolli @Fgraciolli

How do you guys deal with idea distractions? I have a gazillion ideas a day, and sometimes it's hard to stay focused and see one thing from beginning to end. How do you start and finish a project without getting sidelined by something shinier and getting major FOMO?

  1. 3

    Get them out of your head and onto paper/screen as soon as possible and go back to doing what you previously committed to.

  2. 3

    I feel you, Fernanda. I struggle with this as well. Although I didn't successfully cope with it yet, here is what I do / plan to do:

    • put every new idea in one place and don't look at it (or do it rarely). This helps me to stay calm as I know I have those ideas recorded.
    • choose one idea I feel most passionate about
    • do heavy customer development and collect preorders. Commit to delivering the product until a certain deadline. This way I suppose I'll get even more fired up about the idea because there are people who already paid me for it and I have to deliver.

    All the best for making your idea come true!

    1. 1

      Thank you. I'll have to try some of these strategies.

  3. 2

    I've been using Miro (formerly Realtime Board) a lot lately. I have a section of a board where I just dump ideas as they come to me. Every once in a while, I'll map those ideas on a quadrant system that looks to rank ideas by profit potential and complexity-to-implement. You end up with four categories of ideas:

    • High profit potential that's easy to implement (consider now)
    • High profit potential that's difficult to implement (consider later)
    • Low profit potential that's easy to implement (seductive distractions)
    • Low profit potential that's difficult to implement (don't do it)
    1. 1

      @andrew_bpco this is a good way to approach it. I rarely think about profitability when I begin to make something. I fall in love with ideas and you know how love is blind...

      1. 1

        Profitability really only matters if it matters to you, though. I work on things just to fiddle, and that's totally fine! In that case, the axis changes from "profitability" to something like "learning potential."

    2. 1

      I suffer from idea overload myself. This is really good. Thanks andrew_bpco!

  4. 1

    Sometimes what good in your head might not actually be when you deliver it. So what I do is just post it online and ask for feedback. You will get turned down pretty quickly and then you will start to realise all the blindspots you missed.

  5. 1

    Sift through your ideas and pick one. Then, tell your friends, family, colleagues, strangers, IndieHackers, about the idea that you're working on.

    You'd be a lot less likely to jump between ideas because at some point you'll start to look like an idiot unless you're able to explain why you decided to abandon one idea for another.

  6. 1

    Ha :D I just posted my “new idea” to IH and wait for feedback:

  7. 1

    Hey @Fgraciolli I guess everyone who is into entrepreneurship has gone through the Idea Overload phase. Yet, I believe that you have to stick with the idea that resonates the most with what you believe in. If a particular idea sticks with you only for the weekend and they you start to feel no passion about it, it means it's not worth the time

    I highly encourage you check out one of the episodes of Startup Therapy Podcast run by founder. Namely, the one called 'The problem with working on multiple ideas at once". These guys know exactly what it's like to have a gazillion of good ideas and having to focus on only one.

    Hope it helps!
    Have a great day!

    1. 1

      Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out!

  8. 1

    I think this is a problem of many of us.
    My suggestions are:

    • Collect all ideas in a notebook, better if you decide to maintain only a finite number of these ideas: if you introduce to many ideas you have to decide which other ideas to discard.
    • When you start working on an idea, decide a list of little measurable steps.
      So you can reach very soon finite and self-contained goal and decide if start a new iteration on or stop and pass to another idea.
    1. 1

      I love the concept of discarding ideas when you add new ones. I think I will implement this. It'll be an exercise in figuring out what i truly love and what's disposable.

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        yes, I think this is an interesting process to understand what is a temporary infatuation and what is a real interest

  9. 1

    Over time I've come to downplay the value of an idea. I think the nature of being a maker is looking around the world and becoming lost in how things can be made better (one of our best traits).

    But seeing something through to fruition is ultimately about commitment. Realizing that the best ideas comes with the worst of times (boredom, failures, losing interest) is mandatory. Accept that nothing can ever be 100% great, and hope for maybe 70% good times, 30% bad times... to me that lets me stay focused on whatever I'm doing.

    1. 1

      Very good points.

  10. 1

    How do you get so many good ideas?

    1. 1

      I never said they were good haha. I don't know my brain just sees one thing and then comes up with some sort of variation on it.

  11. 1

    This comment was deleted 3 months ago.

    1. 1

      Thanks. I've gotten much better at implementing, but I've still got a ways to go.