Brain Food

January 5, 2017

How to Properly Save Your Creative Ideas

Ready for Anything, By David Allen


David Simon


It’s Friday and you have 5,000 things whirring around in your head: Do laundry! Finish that email! Call Mum!

Adding to the chaos, you’re also having some pretty inspired ideas that you’d like to concentrate on. But, as you’re trying to work out how to incorporate some fantastic plot twist into that novel you’re writing, yet another peremptory thought barges in: “BUY BREAD!”

What causes this mental hurly-burly? Well, our brains have limited short-term memory, or psychic RAM, making it impossible to simultaneously concentrate on our to-do lists and our creative ideas.

So how can you save your creative ideas from death by distraction?

Write your ideas down – properly

Keep your ideas on life support by writing them down, And be sure to write them out in complete sentences.

Say you have an idea for your latest artwork. Instead of jotting down a word that, in the moment, you’re sure will jolt your memory – “watercolor?” – write out the thought: “Would the forest sketch look better using watercolor or pastel?” This establishes your idea as an entity independent of your own head, thus allowing you to better evaluate it later on.

For more on enabling creativity – and why it’s possible to be too organised, we recommend reading:

“Ready for Anything” By David Allen. 

Productivity consultant David Allen is considered one of the leading experts on organisational and personal productivity.

Don’t have time to read the whole book? Read or listen to a powerful short from this book in just 15 minutes on Blinkist:

Ready for Anything, By David Allen