How To Focus When You Have Too Many Ideas

Have you heard this story? There’s a donkey standing halfway between a pile of hay and a bucket of water. It keeps looking left and right, trying to decide between hay and water. Unable to decide, it eventually dies of hunger and thirst.

A donkey can’t think of the future. If he could, he’d clearly realize that he could first drink the water, then go eat the hay.

The moral of the story is don’t be a donkey.

Excerpt from Derek Sivers

I know a lot of entrepreneurs who are brilliant at coming up with ideas. But like the donkey, they struggle with choosing one to focus on. They’re scared of making the “wrong” choice and missing out on the “best” option.

In this guide, I’ll show you how I choose between ideas, what to focus on and how to structure life so you can have both the hay and the water.

1. Create a Dream List

Create a list where you write down all your best ideas (I call mine a Dream List). Every time you get a great idea, create a new note and add it to the list. I use Evernote and tag my new ideas with the keyword “ideas.”

Next, set a reminder on your calendar to review your Dream List at least once every 3 months.

Take Action – Grab your favorite note taking app and list all of your best business ideas.

2. Start Testing

Treat your idea like an experiment. Scan through your dream list and pick the idea that excites you the most. To borrow from Derek Sivers, “It’s either a Hell Yes or it’s a no.”

Take Action – Scan through your Dream List and choose one idea that excites you. That’s the one you’ll be testing.

3. Make it a Sprint

Create a 4 week sprint where you’re hyper-focused on just one idea. Block out time in your calendar to dive deep and execute on your most exciting project. If another idea comes up, add it to your dream list.

Here’s what you’ll discover:

  • Do you actually love this idea?
  • Are you gaining traction?
  • Is this a viable business opportunity?

Once the sprint is over, you can choose to keep going with that idea or start a 4-week sprint with a different idea. The key is to keep doing focused sprints of just one idea at a time.

Take Action– Commit to a 4-week sprint and work on only 1 idea at a time.

This is how you can get out of your head and into action. Do you have a business idea you’ve wanted to launch? Leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to see what you’re working on.