Cleanin out my ideas closet


I’ve decided to use May for cleaning up some stuff:

  • I will participate in the excellent initiative Mindful in May. This is a one month online mindfulness challenge starting today. According to the website it is “Creating a clear mind for you & clean water for people in the developing world.”
  • I will take some steps to clean up my body, with various experiments in my diet.
  • I will attack my huge “to blog” ideas list that is getting bigger for every day, i.e. I will clean out my ideas closet.

The two first bullet points are pretty straight-forward, but the last one needs some more commenting.

As everyone else I get a lot of ideas all the time. I understand that these are valuable and therefore I write them down asap. Most of them take shape in various projects; they become illustrated frameworks, emails, facebook posts, images, events etc. But some of them end up in my ideas list.

The issue that bothers me is that they are left there. Perhaps this is good, as the conventional way of seeing these is as “half-baked”, “not-fully-formed” or even plain rubbish. But I often think; “what if one of these ideas is actually a really good idea?” I will never know as it is not activated.

There are open online repositories for ideas like Halfbakery, where people can add their crazy ideas for the world to see and judge. I’m working myself on a site like this, called InnovationGhost, which I will write about later this month. But for now I will use this blog to clean out my dusty ideas closet.

I’ve had many discussions about this with my friend Helen Palmer; an expert in knowledge management and how to clean out the mind in order to create space for new ideas to take form. She helped me understand how ideas need to be extracted from the mind and captured in a systematic way elsewhere. But now that elsewhere needs to be cleaned out, as it has become a new repository which is too heavy and weighs down my whole knowledge and insight management system.

Last week I counted my “to-blog” ideas and there are around 87. If I synthesize 2-3 ideas into one post (excellent systems thinking / synthesizing exercise) I can get rid of the list in a month. I’ve decided to spend one hour every day to do this, so bear with me if this blog seems more half-baked than usually for this month 🙂

So here we go. Wish me luck.

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