Updated: May 23, 2018
Education without action is just information.
Have you ever taken a course, heard a talk or just listened to a friend with a great idea? You may have thought "wow, what a great idea or plan, I'm going to do that". Then like many of us set the notes or thoughts aside and did all that you usually do? What could be different this time?
Steps to take to move an idea to action:
1. Capture your ideas
Setup a system to write down your ideas — you can filter them later. You can use a journal or a pad of paper, you can also use your mobile device or computer with a note-taking program like Evernote or a dictation program.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, grabbing a notepad might be fastest, but if it’s not put with your other ideas in the morning you still might lose it. No matter how you do it, record the ideas consistently!
2. Prioritize your projects and goals
It is important to set aside time and evaluate your projects and goals against your actual time, energy, money and goals. You can’t do everything at one time, so the best way to actually finish as many as possible is to focus on 1-2 at a time.
Putting a great idea on hold does not mean that it’s not important!
4. Write your action steps down
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Pick the 1-2 best ideas and create S.M.A.R.T. goals – specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic & time-bound. It’s easy to say you are working on “a big project” but it will never get done unless you switch to a small task that is part of the larger project.
5. Schedule time for it
There’s no way around it… if you don’t make time for it, it simply won’t get done. Put time on your calendar for your action steps to get done.
So you have taken these steps and still feel unsure or unclear on the next action or task to complete? This may be the time to get a mentor and discuss the things you have in mind. Sometimes saying them out loud either solidifies the idea or can make it clear that it is not one that would work for you at the moment. The bottom line is that an idea is great and it takes clear, intentional action to get results!