In a Crazy, Busy Week – How Not to Lose your Train of Thought

I like to stay busy. It makes the day go by fast when you have a chance to look up some days you wonder where the day went. Sure beats watching a clock, praying for the day to be over to get on to something you like better.

As a small business owner, it’s not so easy to just lock the door and head off home when everyone else does. Especially, with this economy. I would say that that short period of quiet before I head home is when my best ideas come.

Not that I have any energy to do much more than write them down. But I find that this is a good, disciplined thing to do- first because I will be fresher in the morning and can look at this idea with a new viewpoint (or say to myself “What was I thinking?”).

Secondly, I feel that you need to seek viewpoints from others. So that can mean sending e-mails to people whose opinions I respect or running the idea(s) past my staff, who may be the implementers of this “crazy Boss” idea. (I always hated Bosses who would wildly “implement” their ideas, even though the Bosses had nothing to do with getting the “gosh darn thing” implemented).

Sometimes the idea gets tucked into storage for a time when it might be more feasible to do it. Sometimes, you may actually get wild, enthusiastic responses and start implementing it right away.

I like this informal process. Maybe it’s because of all my years in a structured, corporate environment where everything decision required input agreement from lots of upper level management.

Or maybe it’s a smug comment on my part now that “I’m the Boss” and “It’s my money” we’re playing with.

I hope not.

What I want to create is a collaborative effort, where every idea is considered, and everyone has a say. Now I realize that can’t happen every day, all the time. But, for most things it should occur that way. Why? Because our staff is in the best place to say whether the idea is likely to fit our way of working.

Next I try then to pass along the ownership of the idea so I don’t have to stand there and “watch” to see that it’s done right.

My staff will tell you that I’m full of great ideas. So would my group of advisors that I have lovingly dubbed my “Brain Trust”. I would say their biggest job is to choke me back and make me focus and stick to my knitting(meaning what makes the cash come in the door).

So, I say there’s nothing wrong with lots of ideas. Do your best ideas flow away on the breeze. (I claim a lot seeps out my ears at night when I’m sleeping- but what is sleep these days?) The proverbial “proof in the pudding” is whether and how they get done.

Maybe you have a great method of handling the organization of your organization. Or an idea trapper. Or some other activity that helps you stay on track during crazy, busy times. Please share them.


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