Illustration of one bright lightbulb hanging, with other dull lightbulbs on the ground, demonstrating mind mapping ideas and innovation compared to when you forget a bright ideaIllustration of one bright lightbulb hanging, with other dull lightbulbs on the ground, demonstrating mind mapping ideas and innovation compared to when you forget a bright idea

The reason you lost your best idea

20 FEBRUARY 2019BLOG

When it comes to innovation, it’s time to deliver

It finally happened. That bright idea that could change everything… your business, your future, the world! A lightbulb appeared above your head. You pointed in the air and shouted ‘Eureka!’, celebrating what could be an industry-changing innovation.

Then the moment was over. You carried on with your day. The lightbulb disappeared and the idea floated away.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all lost a good idea (although, perhaps without the imaginary lightbulb and shouting Eureka!).

Why is it so easy to lose a good idea?

  1. You keep feeling inspired at the most impractical times
  2. You fell victim to the limitations of human memory
  3. You felt motivated to begin with, but later ran out of steam
  4. You experienced a problem with implementation

Whatever your past experience, you can improve your chances in the future. We’ve come up with a few scenarios exploring how you might have lost touch with your ideas, with handy tips for making sure future ideas happen.

1. You keep feeling inspired at the most impractical times

Roughly translating to: You couldn’t write it down

This is the most obvious reason for losing your good ideas, but it’s also a little old fashioned.

We live in the digital age, where most of the global population is communicating online constantly.

“I didn’t write it down” is not a strong excuse in a world where you can type, record voice notes or videos from your phone or laptop.

We have our devices at our fingertips and there are software solutions available to help us keep track of anything and everything.

Next time you have a good idea, make use of whatever device you have next to you by recording that idea in the quickest way you can.

If you’re driving or in another environment where you really can’t use a device, three is your magic number. Repeat the idea (in your head or aloud) at least three times to store it in your long-term memory.

2. You fell victim to the limitations of human memory

Roughly translating to: You didn’t write it down, or you did… but lost it

Again, this might seem slightly outdated given our access to technology. However, this is still a relevant issue.

Imagine you are working in a busy office or in the middle of a team meeting. Perhaps you’re participating in a workshop or listening to a talk at a conference. You have an idea. It could be related or unrelated to the environment you’re in.

You can still type or record video or audio in some of these scenarios, but there’s more to distract you. (Arguably, in some of these scenarios, your bright idea is the distraction.)

What’s more, by multi-tasking, you could log your idea (by writing it down, or recording it using another method) then forget where you put it.

Next time, open Mind Doodle at work, during a meeting or an event. Start a mind map for recording notes. If inspiration strikes you, it’s quick and easy to add your bright ideas to a new branch. You can continue with your work tasks, meeting, or event, then return to make sense of your idea later.

When you return to your idea, you may decide to restructure the mind map or develop the idea with notes and media. Perhaps you’ll export the Doodle to another format like Microsoft PowerPoint afterwards, or invite others to collaborate.

The point is, you can make it easier for yourself to capture good ideas when they happen, without distracting yourself from whatever task you are prioritising for too long.

3. You felt motivated to begin with, but later ran out of steam

Roughly translating to: You lost momentum

You recorded your idea in a logical place and didn’t lose it, but you still aren’t making the most it.

You lost your mojo.

You don’t know how to start moving things forward into a plan. Perhaps you aren’t sure if you want to.

Step away from the pressure but don’t give up. Start with a little research. Flesh out your ideas with notes and media, adding depth whilst expanding your knowledge.

You could even use Mind Doodle’s 3D SWOT analysis tool to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, putting yourself in a strong position to proceed.

Once you’ve developed and evaluated your idea, it will be clear whether you should proceed. After that, if it’s an idea worth pursuing, you won’t have problems with motivation any longer.

4. You experienced a problem with implementation

Roughly translating to: You lost track

You’re motivated, but you can’t stay on track.

It could be that you’re being distracted away from your bright ideas by the continuous scroll of your smartphone.

Perhaps you’re working with collaborators without assigning clear roles.

Or worse, maybe you simply don’t have a plan of action. Without a plan, you don’t know what, how or when to implement your ideas.

To counter this, use Mind Doodle’s task board. Assign tasks to turn your ideas into reality.

Delegate tasks to a sprint, so that you know which tasks you need to focus on during a period of time. Set time estimates, priorities and assign yourself or delegate the task to a team member to clarify responsibilities and improve accountability.

Move your ideas across the task board, hitting different stages as you progress. Make it impossible for your ideas not to happen.

Try it for yourself

If you’re ready to make your ideas a reality, start your next project using Mind Doodle. It’s a digital tool that encourages creativity, enhances productivity and enables collaboration.

Get ready for your next Eureka! moment. You won’t lose good ideas again.

Next up, learn how to add tasks during SWOT analysis to turn project weaknesses into strengths.

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