Cameron Gott, PCC
ADHD Coaching for Leaders & Professionals
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The Global Creative Blog

Too Many Ideas, Not Enough Action

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Do you feel like you have too many ideas and not enough action?

Do you feel that the most important things are not getting done?

Do you feel overwhelmed by the 'firehose' of inputs and barely able to keep up?

Having a positive impact at work means working on the most important stuff most of the time. ADHD disrupts this basic work tenet in numerous and insidious ways.

Global Creatives by nature create many ideas and thoughts. While this can be a tremendous asset, a surplus of ideas can create an unworkable equation where we find ourselves adding more and more and not subtracting enough through execution, delegation and reevaluation. Challenges with sustaining effort can further upset the process of productivity and positive impact.

When humans produce an idea we also produce a powerful belief that we can commit to this idea even when we have numerous obligations and commitments. For the Global Creative the belief of possibility can be much more intense. In the immediate excitement of the opportunity all energy and attention revolve around this one singular idea. Black and white thinking, a fallible working memory and a habit of emotional organizing all collude to put the one new idea under an intense spotlight of feasibility while letting other important projects slip back into the ether of our memory.

Let’s dig in and entertain a few questions generated by these three factors.

How often do you prioritize your day by what you feel like and what you don’t feel like doing?Emotional organizing is a term I use to describe the habit of organizing and prioritizing thoughts and actions primarily by how we feel. Emotional organizing is basically doing what we feel like doing in the moment. It can feel great but it can also make attending to our Quad II items an exercise in futility since the intense feeling you had 3 weeks ago about a project will never compete with the intense feeling you had this morning with regard to a new project. When we don’t organize strategically we can default to this stimulating yet shortsighted approach.

How often do you feel that a singular, herculean effort on one idea will change everything?Black and white thinking is often confused with perfectionism. It clouds our ability to maintain a consistent priority list. The result is that we fall into the habit of putting all our eggs into one basket. Shifting analogies, with black and white thinking onboard we tend to bet on a long shot to ‘win, place and show’ while consistent winners stand idle waiting in the stables.

How often do you feel compelled to reinvent the start of your day? I call this constant reinventing. Working memory and other memory challenges create an effect where we have no recollection of past successes or winning practices. The stimulation of creating something new is funneled into how we work and not on what we are working on. When we constantly tinker with the way we work, the work we produce suffers.

Awareness Exercise:

Lets start by entertaining this fact - You will always have more ideas than completions.

Sorry, but this is the nature of a creative mind. Our 'firehose' of ideas will always flow freely. It doesn't mean that we have to execute on every single idea.

In the coming weeks pay attention and stay in the awareness phase of these three areas.

  • For emotional organizing notice how much your feelings drive your actions. Notice how attached you can get to an idea and if letting it go feels like some kind of failure.

  • For black and white thinking it is best to pay attention to your language. How often do you speak in absolutes and use words like ‘always’ and ‘never’? You’ll be surprised!

  • For constant reinventing notice how often you want to change up your approach, to reinvent the wheel. Is it because it is a good idea or because it is stimulating?

I’ll follow up on each of these areas with separate blog entries. In the meantime, notice how prevalent these three things are for you, and how often they happen. Also notice how they affect your ability to have a positive impact on your day.