Ideas (aka Too Many Ideas? Me Too…)

Too Many Ideas? Me Too...

Ever have so many ideas bouncing around inside your head that you end up getting overwhelmed and not doing any of them?

… or just half-heartedly doing one or two and forgetting what you meant to do with the rest?

Me too.

At the moment, particularly because I’ve been travelling a lot lately and away from a computer, I have lots of ideas and to-do’s filling my head and very little recorded anywhere else.

I’m currently reading a great book called ‘Flow‘ by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (just needed to remind myself of the guy’s surname there…). One of the main premises of the book is about bringing order to chaos. That our minds are naturally tended toward entropy/chaos and by bringing order to that chaos we will achieve a more optimal experience (which the author calls ‘Flow’).

A Diversion or a ‘Heads-Up’?

Despite what this book is telling me, I’m going to do something a little different with this article and share my thoughts and current state with you as well as hopefully addressing what we can do when faced with this ‘too many ideas‘ phenomenon (please tell me if this happens to you too).

The article will therefore be a little loose, a little random, but does still have some actionable advice (what to do when you get too many ideas) and very real-world examples (mine, right now).

So is this a diversion or a heads-up? Well, I like to think the latter, obviously.

Bringing Order To Chaos

Funny that this kind of goes against the premise of the book I’m reading.

Well it does and it doesn’t.

It does… because rather than having clearly defined goals, and writing a tight, clear, well researched article on any one of them, I’m going to be rambling a little.

It doesn’t… because by writing this stuff down somewhere, I am actually bringing some order to that chaos, capturing what I have so far so as not to lose it – I’m just sharing it with you instead of writing it down privately.

And it’s not procrastination because I’m still going to write the article I intended to write but I just wanted to get this lot out of me and written somewhere first.

What to Do When You Have Too Many Ideas

So, as with all of my favorite concepts, this one is stupidly simple, yet surprisingly powerful. Here it goes:

Write them down.

When you write things down, you not only record them but you revise them too. Go ahead and try it. Writing things down they often don’t play out in exactly the same way as they did when you first thought of them in your head.

When you write things down, you not only record them but you revise them too.

This causes you to question and re-state what you wanted to say. You may have to pause for a moment to remember what it was exactly that you wanted from any particular point, you will call upon feelings as well as just words and you will hopefully end up with a richer record than you started with – worst case at least you won’t lose it all.

My Current Challenge

Often I get ideas for articles which I can write out immediately with very little thought. Articles that almost write themselves – or I know the full extent of what I want to write and can do so right away. Questions and requests from readers are like this – I simply have to answer the question and I know I’ll have at least one reader ๐Ÿ˜‰

My current challenge is that I am full up with the other type of ideas. Ideas that I know could make great articles/products/subscriber emails/courses but that need a little more thought or crafting or that I’m not sure into which bucket they should go.

Some of My Current Ideas

So what are all of these ideas? Here they are. Feel free to comment on any, but bear in mind that you may or may not see them some time soon – at the moment they are just the ideas that are bugging me currently (and this is not all of them – I already have a much longer list of article ideas and suggestions which are already recorded, I’m just putting these here instead this time).

Note these are mainly headlines and deliberately cryptic. If you want to know more you could always ask, but the point is really that if I was going to spend too much more time explaining any one of them, then I’d just write the article, wouldn’t I?


  • Crowdsourcing Article: this is the article I was going to write today but instead I’m writing this one. Don’t worry, you’re not missing out at all and I’m hardly delaying this, I’ll be writing that article this week or next in addition to whatever else we put out (with all of these ideas I need to get moving on them – this one first). Update: here it is: Crowdsourcing III: One More To Tell You About, Recap & Results of The Playlist Experiment
  • How To Invest in Property: A friend recently asked me how I do it – i.e. what my process is. I thought if I’m helping this friend I may as well help our valued subscribers too, so this is one I’ll be inviting via the email list very shortly – if you’re on our list watch out for that, if not, you can join below (in case you joined after I sent that email and you’d like to be extended the same invitation, just let me know once you’re on the list and I’ll get back to you). Update: I sent this to my list (let me know if you’re on my list, are interested but didn’t see the invite…)
  • Mindset Wealth Tip: 3 different mindsets when it comes to money.
  • Do We Survive by Sheer Dumb Luck?: Article on attention & focus – related to 5 levels of attention & making our experiences more complex.
  • The Power of Taking Action: speaks for itself doesn’t it? Relate this to some recent client experiences.
  • Am I an Entrepreneur: Who cares? There’s a lot of talk about the mindset of an Entrepreneur/what it takes to be an entrepreneur vs traditional employment – explain why this doesn’t matter & why I don’t like the word entrepreneur.
  • Sharing Some of The Key Tools/Internet Apps I Use: not sure about this one but perhaps. Update: In the end I did do something very similar and kind of I went to town, check this out: Websites โ€“ 365 REALLY Useful Websites You Just Gotta Check Out
  • Why You Is The Best Investment You Can Make (Wealth Tip): not just about investing in you, but why people generally don’t and why you should.
  • Consulting Case Studies: add some case studies to the website (consulting section) for client engagements (probably needs to be presentation format) to showcase the kind of work we do for clients.
  • Behind the Scenes Stuff: listen in on a 1-2-1 client session – share some excerpts with people on email list. Update: now done – you’ll get to ‘eavesdrop’ a 121 call with a business client if you are a subscriber. You can also specifically request a few different examples here: consulting call excerpts.
  • Free Training Courses: add some structured training for email list subscribers – need to be careful how to do this, either via using optionality or correct timing.
Updates on the Updates

As if to prove the point, I’d forgotten about most of these (I have so many different projects going on at the moment its unreal) but was brought back here via a notification of Ana’s recent comment below. So, because I wrote these down, I still stand a chance of doing some, or all of these, otherwise they may have just drifted off into the ether…

So there you go.

Writers Block?

As you can see, writers block isn’t an affliction I exactly suffer from, but if you do (assuming you are on our list), shoot me an email and I’ll give you some tips on how to beat writers block (there are lots of ways of doing this but I’ve gone on for long enough and it’s kind of outside the scope of this particular article).

Final Thoughts

You want me to keep on rambling?

No, I thought not.

… but I forgive myself one article like this every once in a while…

Let me know if any of the above resonates with you and watch out for more specific articles very very soon.


Ideas (aka Too Many Ideas? Me Too…) — 24 Comments

    • Hey Ana,

      how are things with you? Well, I hope!

      I know exactly what you mean with the ideas (obviously, I wrote the above article ;-)). The sheer vastness of the internet doesn’t help – I’m always learning new stuff – and some of that is your fault!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I’m flattered you’d link to me – could you put a link for the post you mean here?

        • Wow. Cool, thanks!

          & Apologies for being a thickie, I thought you meant an article you wrote on CL when you obviously meant the CL link right below your comment. Doh!

          posts on slideshare make me feel bad because it’s one of those things I feel I should be doing more with, like YouTube, Podcasts, email & Udemy… all of these I would say are worth investing more time in (instead of e.g. social media) but what a finite resource time is…

          (anyways, I’m in no hurry…)


          still, when I’m ready and want to get more into slideshare, there’s no-one else I’m going to turn to than you Ana!

          best wishes,

  1. Hi Alan, I can’t agree more about the benefits of writing things down and decluttering the mind. I am use to doing this in a work environment. It’s amazing how much ideas are refined once I try to put them down into a quick presentation – in particular trying to depict what could sometimes be a complex subject into a couple of slides, so that people could quickly understand and decisions can be made. By putting my thoughts onto paper, it helps me shape my views. I have recently applied this to my personal life. After your Lifestyle Design article, I brain dumped a number of thoughts onto paper. It was once my brain was clear of all these ideas (some of which were conflicting), that I could see the wood from the trees and design a plan for the next few years. I’m looking forward to your blog on property investment

    • Hey Jonathan,

      right! De-cluttering the mind – that’s what it does.

      You touch on another great technique, simple, effective yet massively underused and underrated – the power of a simple presentation. The old school idea of ‘thick’ presentations is just so wrong. If you can’t fit it on one page, then you can’t explain it very well – I am a big fan of the 1-pager (OK, 2 if you insist).

      The 1-pager is something I have in my list of 100 business models. It sounds stupid to call that a model but the whole concept is as powerful as anything else out there and there’s definitely an art to doing it right (that I’ve got something to say about ;-)).

      The property investment point will be via email only and only to those on my list – but you are so you’ll get it. As I said above, I haven’t sent that yet but watch out for it shortly…

  2. I’m a big fan of writing things down too, Alan. This extends to what is generally in my head, and not just ideas. If I’m feeling down for whatever reason, I write it all down to feel better about whatever is bothering me.

    In my head, it will feel like I have a LOT going on, but after I’ve written it all down, it doesn’t look like so much – perhaps I in fact have an emptier head that I realise? Ha ha!

    Even though you’re not sure about it, the piece about the tools/apps you use would be useful, depending on what your audience want to achieve, of course.

    – Razwana

  3. Hi,

    The statement about writing things done is perhaps more important then you are indicating. I will need to find the quote, probably in a book about about how to stop procrastination ! It details how stress and anxiety could be greatly reduced by listing the things that needed to be done. By making a hardcopy your mind could stop reminding you about them every minute!
    Tried to explain this to my wife, we need to list all house work that needs to be done at what intervals, this would greatly reduce stress and auguments!

    • Well, whatever gave you the impression that I was saying it was anything less than important Ev?

      I thought by explaining that a little more happens when you write things down than simply recording them, I was touching on how powerful this can be. In fact I may have even used that word, powerful. Yes I did.

      So I agree with you, this can be huge. Perhaps I should have stressed that even more then.

      but I didn’t want to overdo it.

  4. Alan, this happens to me a lot. I have a lot of ideas going on in my head that I need to do but if I write them down they are more likely to get done sooner.
    I also have a post in the pipeline on tools and apps that I use – maybe we are thinking alike there. Surving on sheer dumb look luck looks like it would be a really fun read. Go for it!

    • Yep, me too ๐Ÿ˜‰

      On the apps front there are so many really cool apps around these days, it’s amazing how quickly the world is changing – the problem with an article like this is it’s not exactly going to be ‘evergreen’ which almost all of our articles usually are otherwise (e.g. Cicero’s 6 Mistakes of Man aren’t likely to change any time soon ;-)).

      that plus it’s a bit gimmicky but probably would be very useful just because I know how much I like it when someone recommends an app to me and I find it really useful…

      thanks for the comment Lisa!

      take care & best wishes,

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