How to Handle Too Many Creative Project Ideas
February 12, 2014
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It may be hard to believe, but not everyone has creative blocks. Some designers and creators have the opposite problem: too many creative project ideas. So what do you do when you have so many ideas that you don't know where to start? First, you'll have to sort through the muck and consider which ideas are worth keeping and which aren't. Then comes the hard part: choosing the winning idea. Follow the process below and you'll be weeding out the bad ideas in no time.
The Purple Cow
Explore the ideas that marketing guru Seth Godin refers to as a "Purple Cow." Think of it this way: If you saw a brown cow or a white cow, you probably wouldn't look twice. Why? Because cows are pretty boring. But if you saw a purple cow, you'd stop and stare a while because a purple cow is something to marvel over. Similarly, your idea should be as interesting as a purple cow: a departure from the norm. Godin explains that people stop and have discussions over purple cow ideas because they're interesting. So consider the ideas worth discussing when choosing your concept. Which ideas would stop someone in their tracks? Which ideas are worth marveling over? Anything else probably isn't worth your time.
Embrace Your Dumb Ideas
What you perceive as a dumb idea may not be so dumb once you develop it. Think of ideation as a process. These so-called dumb ideas can often be reworked into something great. Remember, it's this very ridiculousness that can make the idea interesting.
Choose a "Break Time" Hobby
Taking a short break from your work can help you sort out your thoughts. Do something you enjoy to take your mind off your work. Bake cookies; go for a walk; flip through a book — anything that helps ease your mind. During your break or shortly thereafter, make note of the ideas that keep floating through your thoughts as your mind wanders. If you can't stop thinking about an idea, it's worth pursuing.
Give Yourself a Deadline
Many people procrastinate when they have too much time to complete a project, either picking an idea at the last minute or — even worse — never picking one at all. A self-imposed deadline creates a sense of urgency while still allowing you to weigh your options before your actual deadline. So narrow down your ideas, then give yourself a deadline. If you already have a project deadline, move it up, make a decision and get started.
Follow Your Passion
Ultimately, your winning idea should fuel your passions. The more passionate you are about the idea, the more likely you are to work hard with real enthusiasm. Ideas driven by passion will always turn out better than ideas that aren't. If you're torn between ideas, choose the one you're most passionate about. If all else fails, narrow down your creative project ideas by selecting the ones that inspire you the most.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons